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Basketball leads to bigger dreams

POSTED: April 18, 2011 10:46 a.m.
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Liberty Blazers coach Cedric Robertson, along with volunteers and participants, celebrated the grand opening last week of the Liberty County Youth Center, located in Allenhurst.

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When Cedric Robertson first founded the Liberty Blazers basketball team, he knew it was the first step toward his overall goal of developing a youth center in the Walthourville/Allenhurst section of Liberty County.

On April 9, Robertson held a grand opening celebration of the new Liberty County Youth Center located at 4215 West Oglethorpe Highway in Allenhurst.

"We are going to offer different sports programs, much like the recreation department, and we are also tied into Fort Stewart," Robertson said. "We get to bring in our kids to participate in activities, and we will offer career-training programs and different field trips to museums, historical locations and educational field trips."

Robertson said his goal is to place young people in a positive and supervised atmosphere. The Liberty County Youth Center plans to offer a free lunch program for kids during the summer and will offer homework assistance as well as mentoring and tutoring.

"We wanted to find a place where we could focus on educational programs as well as sports," he said. "You can get a scholarship to play basketball, but if basketball doesn’t work out, you need to have another alternative."

Membership is $50 per quarter, and the facility is open to children ages 5-18, Robertson said. Currently the center operates Monday through Friday from 4-8 p.m. But when school closes, they anticipate operating from
10 a.m.-8 p.m.

His ultimate dream is to have a location that can house his educational programs and sports programs all in one spot. The Blazers still will hold their basketball camps using local schools’ courts and Robertson said he also is planning a football camp for kids this summer.

"We’ve been getting more participation from the younger kids," he said.

Robertson said the youth center was made possible due to local sponsors Dennis A. Waters Jr.; Palm Coast Utilities, LLC; United Way of the Coastal Empire; Liberty County Health Department; Hinesville Home Center; Teacher’s Nook; and the city of Allenhurst.

For more information on the programs offered at the center, call 432-7777 or 977-0501.

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