Basketball coach holds final camp after 42 years

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Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 6:01 PM CDT
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NEWBURGH, Ind. (WFIE) - In 1981 Dave Meyer began teaching at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Newburgh.

It’s the same year he started holding a summer basketball camp for middle schoolers.

For 42 years, Meyer has been teaching the game to the next generation. This week, he’ll hold his final camp after more than four decades.

“This is the grand finale,” Meyer said. “I taught for 42 years, I said I’ll do one more camp.”

The bleachers in the school’s gym were lined wall to wall with a close line, holding up 41 basketball camp shirts, one for each year Meyer has coached. The only shirt missing was this year’s.

“I got to give kudos to my wife,” Meyer said. “She was ready to get rid of these a long time ago, but I’ve kept one shirt from every year.

“I know every kid in this camp,” Meyer added. “I’m able to greet every kid by name and know their ability.”

Meyer said he enjoyed his time holding the camps, but as he retires from teaching, he decided it was time to stop holding camps as well.

He says he’s thankful for each kid and coach he’s worked with. One that stuck out was Ray Wright.

Wright coached with Meyer during the first 13 years of the camp. He recently passed away. Wright wished to have an outdoor basketball hoop installed at the school instead of receiving flowers.

The school now has three outdoor hoops, with a plaque honoring Wright.

Meyer says Wright was one of many who made his time coaching special.

“It’s been a great ride, with a lot of fantastic people along the way,” Meyer said.

The camp’s final day is on Friday.