CIU Ram Makes an Impact on Youth

July 19, 2016

Damian Hurta Becomes Coach for a Week

By Bob Holmes

Damian Hurta now understands what he puts his basketball coach through when he doesn’t follow directions. The Columbia International University Rams sophomore guard/forward became a coach for a week when he took a leadership role in the “One Died for All” basketball camp sponsored by Urban Discoveries Ministries. About 70 boys from ages 12-16 took part in the camp held on the CIU campus this summer.

“I was telling (CIU) Coach (Marshall) Tague, ‘I feel your pain, when you ask us to do something and we don’t do it right, and it frustrates you,’” Hurta said during an interview after a couple of days of coaching the youngsters.

According to Urban Discoveries the goal of the camp was “to provide a way of glorifying our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, through the game of basketball.” CIU’s Men’s Assistant Basketball Coach Danny Reese was the co-camp director.

The campers were separated into teams, with Hurta saying his team needed to learn teamwork because they weren’t passing the ball and as a result were losing. Hurta, a Sports Management major, blames the pros in the NBA for setting a bad example when it comes to team play. 

“They watch the NBA. That just brainwashes them,” Hurta lamented.

That concern carries over to the spiritual side, something central to the ministry of Urban Discovery Executive Director Ronnie McAdoo and his wife Janet who assists him. They played basketball at Old Dominion in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. And that’s why their son, James Michael McAdoo of the NBA’s Western Conference Champion Golden State Warriors, was asked to drop by and speak to the campers.

He told them that as a freshman basketball player at the University of North Carolina, he put idols in his life ahead of God.

“I started partying. I started drinking. I started having sex. All of that. I loved to party,” the younger McAdoo told the campers seated in front of him on the CIU gym floor. “Partying was one of my idols.”

But after his parents confronted him about his lifestyle, McAdoo told God he “blew it.”

“The world is going to put these idols in our lives that are going to steer us away from the Lord,” McAdoo continued. “But realize you are on this earth for a bigger purpose, and that’s to serve God.”

Meanwhile, Hurta was glad to see a big name like James Michael McAdoo set a godly example for the campers.

“I like the way that he was down to earth and didn’t think that he was better than anyone else,” Hurta said.

Hurta himself had the whole week to set an example to the youngsters. If he had one message for them, what would it be?

“As much as we love winning, it’s not all about winning,” Hurta said. “In everything that you do, and in everything that you have, give all the glory to God, because without Him you have nothing.”