ROCKINGHAM — Children ages 6 to 14 will get the opportunity to develop their on-the-field skills at the second annual All S.T.A.R. Academy Baseball Training Camp at Rockingham Middle School — from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — on Saturday, July 14.
Anthony Hailey, co-founder of the All S.T.A.R. Academy organization, says campers can expect to learn proper throwing mechanics, hitting techniques and footwork, as well as how to field the ball and better their hand-eye coordination.
There were “about 25-30 kids” who attended the inaugural camp last year, so Hailey’s hoping he’s able to reach somewhere around that same number two weeks from now. He wouldn’t mind, however, if more parents registered their children.
“I just love being able to share my knowledge and all the information that I’ve gained over the years from playing, and all my coaches, to share with the kids who might not have parents who are able to get out, play with them, and teach them the techniques needed to develop their skills,” he said. “You have to work daily to improve and stay on top of your game.”
The one-day camp helps the organization raise funds for gear, trips to different sporting events around the state, and more. Last year, the group was able to attend the Carolina Panthers’ Fan Fest and a Winston-Salem Dash baseball game.
During the school year, All S.T.A.R. Academy acts an after-school program — from 5:30-7 p.m. on Mondays — to help tutor kids with their homework. The first hour, Hailey says, is dedicated to “academic enrichment.” The final 30 minutes of the day are spent on the diamond, as Hailey works with the students on their agility, endurance, footwork, etc.
S.T.A.R. is an acronym for “Sportsmanship. Training. Academics. Respect.”
“We’re trying to develop student-athletes, meaning that the student comes first,” Hailey said. “We push the academic side of things so our kids are able to compete and get into those big colleges and universities once they graduate from high school.
“When they’re on the field, as far as their sportsmanship, (we want them) being a good sport. Even when they lose, because as we know, you can’t win them all,” he added. “And that goes along with respect — respecting yourself, your peers, adults, everybody. That’s basically what we preach and teach at All S.T.A.R. Academy.”
An avid baseball player, coach, and fan, Hailey has spent the majority of his life around the diamond. He played third base at Richmond Senior High School before becoming a full-time pitcher during his senior year (2005). After graduating, he started his collegiate career at Rockingham Community College — in Wentworth — and then transferred to Elizabeth City State University for the rest of his time in college. The former Raider still plays in an adult league in the Charlotte area.
Hailey also helps coach the baseball team at Hamlet Middle School and lends his hand to Hamlet’s Parks and Recreation Department.
“I’ve actually had a couple of parents who have encouraged me to get a team, but right now I’m in school trying to further my degree and what not. I told them maybe in a couple years when I’m done with school I can do that for them,” he said. “I would definitely like to go into that head-coaching role one day.”
For right now, though, Hailey is focused on his second annual camp. He would’ve liked to have everything in by the end of this week, but says he’s extending registration until next Tuesday, July 3.
For cost and other information, contact him by phone at 910-461-5243 or by email at [email protected]
“I just want to thank Cameron Wright Hairston for creating this business with me, which allows me to pour into it my passion for baseball and helping children in the community,” Hailey added.
Anthony Hailey, back row to the right, poses for a photo with six members of the All S.T.A.R. Academy organization at a Winston-Salem Dash baseball game last year.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at [email protected] For stories, scores and updates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.