Kelser, Former PSL Star, Uses Basketball To Mentor Youth

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    Gregory_Kelser

    Detroit Public Schools’ former Henry Ford High basketball star, Gregory Kelser, is a shinning example of achievement.

    Rocking with Magic Johnson, Jay Vincent and Ron Charles, just to name a few, he was an integral part of the first Michigan State University NCAA national title basketball team in 1979. A game that still rates as the top viewed telecast in Final Four history. Who can forget that moment? Especially me, being an MSU alumni and living in LA at the time. I I ran around the block a couple of times unleashing yells of joy after the game.

    Kelser, who has graduated from that special moment in time for many, has transferred his basketball skills to the television booth. Kelser had found a solid life after basketball, he’s in his 13th season as analyst on Fox Sports Network’s coverage of the Detroit Pistons and he has also done Big Ten Network and other NCAA basketball games.

    All the accolades are fine with Kelser, but he has a genuine heartfelt need to be more than just an athlete in the athletic world. I remember asking him to come to Mackenzie High to speak to my journalism class and he was there bright and early greeting the students and sharing his knowledge.

    That is why his basketball camps are some of the more successful in the area, because parents and participants can tell he’s sincere.

    Kelser will produce a number of camps this summer, and it is will be his 18th year working with area youth.

    The Gregory Kelser Basketball Camps 2010 will take place at West Bloomfield High School on June 21-25, July 12-16 and Aug. 9-13,  Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

    He will also conduct a camp at Grosse Pointe North High School on July 26th to July 30th Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    The camps are for boys and girls ages 7 thru 17.

    “I have been running basketball camps since it seems like forever,” Kelser said. “I started in 1978 and we went through 1982. Then I picked it back up in 1993 and we have been going strong ever since.”

    He said one reason he has been able to endure is that the camp is about more than just basketball.

    “Some of our major components are teaching life skills and emphasizing the value of education,” he said. “Sure the kids come to play basketball and my coaching staff and I try hard to teach them and improve their skills while stressing the fundamentals of the game.

    “But if that was all we did I’d have missed a great opportunity to stress how important education is to any of their basketball dreams and their life goals, too. We want them to exercise the mind and the body at my camp. The parents really seem to appreciate that we view sports as more than just dribbling and shooting.

    Kelser also noted that the camps provide an opportunity for the kids to bond with others.

    “The diversity of the camps is a beautiful thing,” he said. “It is one of the better things about sports, the fact that competition and teamwork breaks down barriers and makes people work together to achieve common goals. As coaches we try to do the same things to as models for the kids.”

    Kelser was selected First-Team Academic All-American in 1979 and was captain of MSU’s 1979 NCAA Championship team. He has always been a leader and he has not shunned the responsibility that comes with being a public figure.

    This interview would not be complete without asking about the Pistons’ future.

    “I have to believe that Joe Dumars has the ability to turn this team around,” Kelser said. “He has done it before, so why not think it is possible to do it again? However, I realize the turnaround will not happen as fast as it did before. We have some solid pieces in place, but it will all have to fall in place with the upcoming draft and the free agents that are available.”

    What we know will fall into place is  that  Kelser will be there all summer sharing his wisdom and knowledge with your youth at his 2010 basketball camps.

    For information, call Kelser, Inc. at (248) 342-2735 or (248) 865-6462.

    Leland Stein can be reached at lelstein3@aol.com.

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