July 1, 2011
LIONS' SUH HOLDS CAMP AT OSBORN HIGH SCHOOL FOR THINK DETROIT PAL FOOTBALL PARTICIPANTS
Detroit, Mich. – Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh provided a number of Think Detroit PAL participants the experience of a lifetime when he held his football camp on Tuesday June 28th. All four teams from Think Detroit PAL’s Eastside Bengals participated in the camp, which was held at Osborn High School, the Bengals’ home field.
Suh enlisted help from many high school and college coaches for his camp, including Rod Huber, who is the head football coach at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, and one of Suh’s high school coaches. Huber enthusiastically served as the master of ceremonies for the event. Detroit Lions defensive end Lawrence Jackson and former NFL wide receiver Frank Murphy served as coaches as well.
The presence of his high school coach served as an example to the participants that the impact a coach can have on a young person is priceless. Suh said that the guidance he received as a youth gives him the motivation to help others.
“For me it’s giving back. I know for me growing up, as I have my high school coach with me, people took care of me,” Suh explained. “Just being in the position to give back to somebody else and give a kid a chance to learn something.”
The camp lasted approximately three-hours and was high energy and fast paced. The players were separated by age into three groups. The groups were called were the Generals, Cornhuskers and Lions. They were named after Suh’s high school, collegiate, and professional teams.
The participants were then broken up into smaller groups and went through different drills at different stations on the field, including the 20-yard dash and the shuttle drill. Ndamukong Suh walked around the field observing and giving advice on how to do the drills more effectively.
Trainers from the Detroit Medical Center were on hand, as well as Detroit Police Chief Ralph L. Godbee Jr., who donned a personalized Lions jersey with his name on the back. Godbee spoke about the impact that the Lions star could have on the city’s youth.
“It says so much, especially in an area like the Osborn area. It’s heavily youth populated, and not the most advantaged young people in the world,” Godbee explained. “To get an NFL star of Suh’s caliber to give up his time to talk to these kids and to touch these kids, could turn around a kids life just by his very presence.”
The players were given a break after the first set of drills was complete. They were then brought to the middle of the field, where they were addressed by Suh. He also provided the campers with a demonstration on proper technique for a defensive lineman, which the participants practiced soon thereafter.
Godbee mentioned that the benefit that a camp like this can have on Think Detroit PAL and the city of Detroit could have a lasting impact.
“It’s really awesome what he’s doing here. He makes my job easier too. When he touches these young people in this way, they see what they can be. He becomes real to them and not just a guy on television. This is awesome,” Godbee said. “What he is doing is really phenomenal. I really appreciate it and embrace it, and if he can encourage more athletes to do it just by his actions, we’re going to be way ahead of the game.”
The camp ended with a competition to see who the fastest players were. The winners in each age group received Nike string bags. That was followed by two-hand touch games.
With events like this and continued activity within the city, the Portland, Oregon native said that he is really beginning to feel like Detroit is home.
“Yes, most definitely. The fans wanted me here before the draft, and I am happy to be here,” said Suh. “I’ve had a blast. I’m happy Detroit drafted me, and I’m going to make the most out of it. I definitely want to call this home in the long run.”
To view photo galleries, click here and here.
Think Detroit PAL was formed in 2006 with the merger of Think Detroit Inc. and the Detroit Police Athletic League. In partnership with the Detroit Police Department and community volunteers, Think Detroit PAL builds character in young people through athletic, academic and leadership development programs. In 2010, Think Detroit PAL served over 10,000 girls and boys through 10 sports, making it one of the largest youth organizations in the state of Michigan. More than 80 cents of each dollar donated to Think Detroit PAL goes directly into programming
For more information, please visit http://www.thinkdetroitpal.org or call 313-833-1600.