MARION, S.C. – The fourth year of the Rockem Nation basketball camp hosted by the D.J. Rowell Foundation was a record in attendance. Organizer David Rowell Jr. said the free week-long camp served 150 children.

“I thank the community leaders and the volunteers coming together and making it work,” Rowell said. “I did this because I wish people would’ve done this for me at a younger age. I wanted to help kids early.”

Rowell said he wanted the campers to come away with more than just working on their game and competing.

“I want them to use their resources and be consistent,” he said.

The final day included an awards ceremony that recognized every participant. Rowell said a typical day included a lot of yelling, motivating, enthusiasm, motivational speakers and a lot of basketball. The camp included breakfast and lunch along with instruction from former high school, college and professional basketball players.

Rowell played basketball at and graduated from Marion before enrolling at Ohio Valley University in Vienna, W.Va., and graduating from Queens University of Charlotte. Rowell played college basketball at both schools. He also served as a tour manager with a country music band. Later, he tried out for the Indiana Pacers. He established the camp to support his community and hometown.

One of the coaches at the camp was former College of Charleston and Hartsville High School player Jordan Fox. Another coach was Stacy Wilson, a Mullins High School standout who played at Coffeyville (Kansas) Community College and Kentucky’s Murray State University.

At Murray State, Wilson played with Isaiah Canaan who played in the NBA for the Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Chicago Bulls, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Milwaukee Bucks.

Rowell said he wanted to let the kids in Marion, Mullins, and the rest of Marion County know that if he could make it, they could, too.

For more information visit djrowellfoundation.org.

Morning News reporter Matthew Christian contributed to this report.

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Born in Atlantic City; raised in Mullins. Graduated from SC State University, home of the mighty Bulldogs. Editor of the Marion Star & Mullins Enterprise. Loves spending free time with his daughter. Huge sports fan.