A young Joppatowne High School alum said he wants to help other young people succeed through a new basketball camp. Ryan Stokeling, 21, and a student at Neumann University in Aston, Pa., told the Edgewood Community Council Thursday that he plans to launch the Hoop Impact Basketball Camp this summer. Stokeling got the idea after attending a sports camp in North Carolina that he said had a great impact on his life. "It can be an impact they'll never forget," he said. "I'm a key product of it. "Stokeling, whose mother is helping him organize the program, said the camp would run in June and would offer children ages 8 to 17 more than just basketball. The camp would feature mentors that stress the importance of education, staying in school and staying off drugs. He said he wants to let youth know that "basketball is not the only thing society offers" and wants them to be productive members of society. Stokeling explained he watched many potential athletes go through Joppatowne, but not really "make it" outside of Harford County, either because of bad grades or bad influences like substance abuse. He said he was always told to have a "plan B" instead of just playing basketball. "You can't count on going to the NBA," he said. "Now I'm not going to the NBA and I don't mind at all. "The camp would run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day and would be a place where youth can "learn not just about basketball but how you can stay successful out of the streets. "He also wants to offer attendees food, equipment and anything else they might need. "We want them to have no worries," he said, adding: "Basketball definitely can also be very therapeutic. "Stokeling said he would have liked the camp to be in Joppa, but Edgewood makes more sense because there are several schools close together. He said more information on the camp should be available by the end of the month at hoopimpact.com.
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