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Kluttz impressed with Jackson

By Mark Wineka
mwineka@salisburypost.com
Salisbury Mayor Susan Kluttz planned to give a perfunctory welcome Thursday night at the kickoff to the Bobby Jackson Summer Basketball League and leave for other pressing duties.
But when she learned that Jackson, a veteran National Basketball Association player and former Salisbury High and University of Minnesota great, would be present and speaking, she decided to hang around.
Kluttz couldn’t have been more impressed ó with Jackson and this youth league for which he has provided the major funding.
The “league,” open to boys and girls in sixth grade through high school, includes a lot of basketball and the teaching of roundball skills.
But participants in the five-week program, being held at Livingstone College and the city’s Hall Gymnasium, also receive coaching on career and educational decisions, social etiquette and how to develop good character traits and positive social interactions.
The league will hold a “graduation” banquet July 19 in which the youth will employ many of the etiquette skills they have learned.
The important thing is, the league still has openings, and the city of Salisbury is paying for scholarships for students who can’t afford the $50 cost of the program.
Those interested should contact Andrew Mitchell at 704-267-1122 or andrewmitchell55@carolina.rr.com.
Kluttz said Jackson’s league encompasses six of the eight youth initiative planks identified last year at two community summits. “It’s so much of what we’re trying to do,” she said.
“It’s wonderful that Bobby Jackson would do this for our community and invest his money and time,” Kluttz added. “It’s very exciting when someone is willing to give back to the community and giving back to children here is very important.”
Kluttz heard Jackson describe for the league participants about his growing up in a single-parent household in Salisbury. He told them not to be discouraged or held back by criticism and relayed to them some of the obstacles he had faced and still confronts today.
Kluttz said Jackson is serving as an important role model while his league is helping youth make the right decisions.

NOTE: The Bobby Jackson League should not be confused with the longstanding, weeklong Bobby Jackson Camp, which will start July 21. Registration for that camp will be held at Livingstone College July 20.

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