Former Boston Celtics player Damen Bell-Holter kicked off his 4-day Blessed 2 Bless basketball camp at the Wrangell high school June 5.

Kids at the camp run drills.

Kids at the camp run drills.

Bell-Holter grew up in Hydaburg and played basketball at Mt. Edgecumbe High School and Ketchikan High School. After college, Bell-Holter played in the NBA and is now playing professionally in Finland. He is the first Haida man to play in the NBA.

He said he brought his camp to Wrangell and other small northern communities to teach more than basketball skills.

“I push them mentally and physically to see how they handle adversity and it’s going to help them down the road through my messages,” said Bell-Holter

Bell-Holter said this is the first time his camp has stopped in Wrangell. He hopes to teach kids life lessons that he learned at an early age while working on basketball fundamentals.

“I overcame alcohol abuse in household, you know domestic violence and just growing up around it throughout the community,” he said. “I saw a lot of rough things. That’s my reach to these kids coming from a small community, especially up north.”

Stone Guggenbickler plays on the Junior Varsity basketball team for Wrangell. He said he plans to attend all four days and has been looking forward to the camp.

Day two ends with a shooting drill.

Day two ends with a shooting drill.

“I like shooting drills or just driving in general to the basket,” said Guggenbickler

He said for now, they are just working on the basics.

“Mostly fundamentals, not much shooting drill yet, mostly dribbling and triple-threat,” said Guggenbickler.

Bell-Holter said there’s always space for more kids to attend and said the camp is going well so far.

“It’s been great. The kids are respectful and that’s one of the biggest things and they work hard. It’s great so far,” said Bell-Holter.

The Blessed 2 Bless Basketball Camp wraps up Wednesday.