Former Reidsville basketball star Robert Doggett is making sure local kids are getting a bang for their buck at his annual Shooting Stars Basketball Clinic.
Beginning on Monday and running through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Doggett is currently hosting a basketball camp at the Reidsville Recreation Department for kid’s ages 7 to 17, and the cost is just $40 for the whole week. That nets the kids 20 hours of quality instruction and free lunch to boot. The camp focuses primarily on basketball fundamentals, coordination, skills-and-drills in addition to guidance on proper shooting techniques.
Doggett, who graduated from Reidsville in 1990, was the heart of the Rams team his senior year in 1989. During his senior season at Reidsville, Doggett averaged more than 29-points per game as a combo guard playing for former head coach Ron Parsons.
He was a highly sought after college recruit and eventually accepted a scholarship at Wake Forest University. But due to a number of reasons, including the departure of then head coach Dave Odom, playing time, and his role on the team — Doggett decided to leave Wake and transferred to East Tennessee State to finish out his college career.
After graduation from ETSU, he played for several years overseas professionally before a devastating knee injury in the off season ended his career. Prior to the injury, he had just signed a contract for $250,000 with bonus incentives, but a pickup game and an ill fated cut after a pass from his brother James changed all of that. He tore not only his ACL and LCL, but also severely injured his hamstring. After several months of surgery and rehabilitation, he knew his playing days were over.
Doggett said despite the injury, the game of basketball has enriched his life in many ways and that’s part of the reason he feels obliged to give back. After he got hurt, he reached out to the Wake Forest team doctor, who had become a friend over the years, for advice. Not only did the doctor and staff at Wake advise and treat him, but they did not charge him for surgery that cost well over $100,000. He attributed that wonderful gift of friendship, compassion and medical treatment to the game of basketball.
At the beginning of the clinic, Doggett explained to the young campers the importance of strength and conditioning in regards to developing the legs and core. He said that type of training can prevent injuries like the one he suffered and he wanted them to learn from his experiences.
Currently Doggett is an assistant basketball coach at Clarkston High School in Georgia and he also has a personal training business which he started in 2002.
He has come home virtually every year since his college graduation in 1995 to put on the camp. Doggett said the Reidsville Recreation Department is a very important part of his life and he is grateful to have the opportunity to give back to the community that helped shape his life.
He said the recreation department was virtually a second home for him as a kid and he could hardly remember a time as a young man when basketball wasn’t a part of his life.
“I played here all day, every day. This place is extra special. My godfather, basically my dad, ran the gym forever. He taught me how to play. He passed away a couple of years ago and everything I know about basketball has come through this recreation department.”