Eric Minor (center), Chicago Bulls Training Academy lead instructor for the fourth-annual Moses E. Cheeks Slam Dunk for Diabetes Basketball Camp at Franciscan Omni Health and Fitness-Schererville, provides instructions for proper layup techniques to some of the approximately 30 campers on hand this year. The free program, which ran June 23 to 25, is offered for children and young adults, aged 5 to 18, who have diabetes. Diabetes educators from Omni and from Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Michigan City, Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Hammond, Franciscan Medical Specialists and from other area hospitals, also were on hand to monitor participants’ blood sugar levels and provide other assistance.
The camps, which began in 2005, teach fundamentals of living with diabetes and offer a place where participants gain confidence in a safe, structured and supportive atmosphere. The program is designed to teach participants the relationship between food, exercise and insulin, as well as basketball skills. They also are designed to teach participants how sports, illnesses and stress affect blood sugar levels, how to make corrections to insulin intake and to demonstrate that diabetes need not prevent one from living an active and productive life. Minor, who has been with the training academy for six years, said he was familiar with diabetes through a grandmother, who coped with it.
“I love to teach kids,” he said, adding, “Basketball is a good way to reach them and provide them mentoring.” Campers receive a Bulls team bag, t-shirt, player evaluation form and graduation certificate. For more information, contact Monica Joyce, camp director, at (773) 636-3353 or send e-mail to email@example.com. The late Cheeks was the father of Maurice Cheeks, who was a National Basketball Association coach. Moses Cheeks, who had pancreatic cancer and Type 1 diabetes, was a basketball enthusiast who was instrumental in planning the camp.