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County dedicates new gym

Nathan Bloemsma practices a layup. Nathan Bloemsma practices a layup.

The first summer camp at Henderson County's new gym tipped off today with a boys basketball camp run by Hall of Fame prep coach John Whitmire.

CampCoachCoach John Whitmire instructs Vinny Gonce.A small turnout of five campers was running through the paces of dribbling, passing and layups under Whitmire, who coached for more than 40 years at Edneyville, North Henderson and East Henderson high schools.
"We had a soccer camp a couple of weeks ago but that's the first gymnasium program we've had," said Tim Hopkin, the Henderson County Parks and Recreation director. "I know it's been a slow process getting the word out. We had 70 at the soccer camp but that was an established program. Associating us with summer basketball is kind of new. It takes a while to get going and for people to see that, yes, we have this new facility and we have activities going on. Summertime is actually hard for us to organize programs because everybody's on holiday."
Henderson County officials dedicated the new Henderson County Athletics & Activity Center on Thursday.
The county has put up two new soccer goals at the grass field. It is drafting a request for proposals for artificial turf that county officials say will lengthen the life of the field and allow more play.

Among the activities the county plans to offer in the gym are basketball, volleyball, pickleball


Henderson County bought the 9.5 acre tract for $910,000 on Jan. 30. The Board of Commissioners has authorized an additional $1,017,020 in improvements, including $635,000 for an artificial turf field and lights for nighttime play. It also spent money to make the facility handicapped accessible. The county plans to CampSignmove programs from the Stoney Mountain Community Center to the classroom building or gym.
Whitmire, who was inducted this year in the county Education Hall of Fame, was assisted at the hoops camp by rec department employee Lanny Thompson and Hunter Donaldson, a Brevard College student who starred in basketball and baseball at NHHS. He said he expected to have one more camper on Tuesday, enough for three-on-three games.
Here are other upcoming camps:
• Girls basketball camp (which may change to co-ed, Whitmire said) for fifth through seventh graders, 9-11 a.m. July 8-11, cost $55.
• Girls volleyball camp, rising fourth through sixth graders, 9 a.m.-noon; rising seventh and eighth graders, 1-4 p.m. Instructor: NHHS coach Sue Moon. Cost: $65.
• N.C. Youth Soccer Association Camp, July 29-Aug. 2 and Aug. 12-16, ages 5-7, 9-10 a.m. Cost: $65. Ages 8 and up, 9 a.m.-noon. Cost: $115.
For information or to sign up call 697-4884 or go to