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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2012 > May-August > Urban Initiative Baseball Camp Scholarship Winners Enjoy Fun Experience at Little League International

Urban Initiative Baseball Camp Scholarship Winners Enjoy Fun Experience at Little League International

Urban Initiative Baseball Camp Scholarship Winners Enjoy Fun Experience at Little League International

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 2012 Little League Urban Initiative Baseball Camp Scholarship recipients enjoyed a trip to Little League International and the opportunity to improve their skills and make their own memories during the final camp session of the summer.

DaVarwin Davis from West Dallas (Texas) Little League; Keilan Walker of Sacramento (Calif.) Airport Little League; James Beckum Little Leaguer Mareo Hunter from Milwaukee, are all 12 years old, while Gabriel Garcia of Memphis (Tenn.) Little League is 11.

The quartet of scholarship recipients enjoyed a week of camp that included round-trip transportation and free tuition to the Little League Baseball Camp in South Williamsport, Pa.

“We’ve been offering the scholarship for three years, and I feel it has provided a positive experience and opportunity,” Demiko Ervin, Director of the Little League Urban Initiative, said. “When I pick them up at the airport to bring them to Williamsport, they are full of questions, but when they get here, I think it is more than they expect.”

All leagues in the Little League Urban Initiative program were invited to nominate up to three players for the scholarship. From that pool, the winners are chosen based upon the nominations. The scholarships are made possible by donations to the Urban Initiative program.

“I was excited about coming to camp and it’s been fun staying in the dorms,” Keilan, a middle infielder, said. “I like playing on the World Series fields and my fielding is getting better.”

“We’ve done a lot of stuff … It’s been fun,” Gabriel, a third baseman and pitcher, said.

Each player looked forward to games at Lamade and Little League Volunteer Stadiums, but playing ping pong in the recreation hall, spending time in the swimming pool and meeting other Little Leaguers has rounded out a special time for each of them.

DaVarwin, a pitcher, said that throwing from the World Series mounds, was a whole lot of fun. “I’ve been working on my pitching,” DaVarwin said. “I think I’ve done well.”

The power hitter in the group is Mareo. “I’ve hit home runs on both of the World Series fields, but playing defense is a bit different, because of the bigger fields. Still, I am having a good time.”

All aspects of the game, including hitting, pitching, fielding and base running, are covered by the camp instructors and counselors. A typical day, for the overnight camps, begins at 7 a.m., and includes a full day of baseball and other activities, concluding at 10 p.m.

“Since the Urban Initiative program was created, its primary goal has been to make the benefits of participating in Little League available to children in places where green space and playing opportunities were limited,” Mr. Ervin said. “We, as an organization, have seen the impact that the Little League program has had on urban neighborhoods throughout the United States, and this scholarship now gives us the means to provide a wonderful experience to the players who are benefiting from their participation in Little League.”

Little League Baseball and Softball has conducted summer youth baseball camps at the Little League International complex for more than 50 years.

For more information on the camps, visit the Little League web site at: www.LittleLeague.org

South Williamsport offers a day camp, in addition to five consecutive weeks of six-day, overnight camps. Campers train, play and are housed in the same facilities used by the 16 Little League teams who play in the Little League Baseball World Series each August.

“I think the players come here and are a little shocked they are able to play on Lamade and Volunteer Stadiums,” Mr. Ervin said.

The Little League Urban Initiative is now operating with more than 220 leagues in nearly 90 cities in the United States. In its 13th season, the Little League Urban Initiative has stimulated the participation of 4,000 teams, approximately 52,000 players, and has participated in more than thirty field renovation/development projects.

For more information on Little League’s Urban Initiative, contact Mr. Ervin, at: dervin@LittleLeague.org; or (570) 326-1921. More information on the Little League Urban Initiative is also available on the Little League web site at: www.LittleLeague.org; or on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/LittleLeagueUrbanInitiative.



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For the third year, the Little League Urban Initiative has provided Little League Summer Camp scholarships to players from league’s participating in the Urban Initiative. This year’s recipients, pictured with Demiko Ervin, Director of the Little League Urban Initiative, are, from left to right:  Gabriel Garcia, 11, of Memphis (Tenn.) Little League; Keilan Walker, 12, of Sacramento (Calif.) Airport Little League; DaVarwin Davis, 12, from West Dallas (Texas) Little League; and James Beckum Little Leaguer Mareo Hunter, 12, from Milwaukee.