Hoppers host baseball camp for youths

Tyler Dixon | Kentucky New Era

Hoptown Hoppers assistant coach Nick Walker leads a group of kids during the Hoppers' baseball camp Thursday at HHS.

The Hoptown Hoppers spent the last three days teaching the youths of Hopkinsville the game of baseball, and it was capped off with a trip down a makeshift Slip-n-Slide to teach the fundamentals of sliding into bases correctly.

The Hoppers players took turns going on specific days, with Hoptown Assistant Coach Nick Walker talking the lead on instruction for the camp.

It was only a decade ago that Walker was in similar camps.

"I think I can attest to being in that spot. I know I looked up to the people that worked it," he said.

Walker said while he wanted the camp to be fun, he wanted the kids to learn something as well.

"I think most importantly is them getting something out of it," he said. "If they can take one thing from it and learn something, whether it's baseball or being a better kid, whatever it might be, show them that you care so that they can get something out of it. I know I was fortunate enough to have people care for me. It's kind of in my DNA, I wanted to help as much as I can."

One camper during Thursday's final day told Walker he had trouble catching the ball at third base. After just a few minutes of instruction from the Hopper assistant, the camper was able to catch a ball that came his way.

"It really kind of makes you speechless," he said. "There's really no words for it. To see them with success then look at you and say 'holy cow I did it.' I kind of felt that connection."

Walker just finished graduate school at Austin Peay and has been through the college game.

For some of the Hoppers, helping out at a camp may not seem like much, but Walker told them that there's a bigger picture and he hopes they can take something away from the week as well.

"I wanted them to especially feel the energy that they receive back from the kids," he said. "You get what you put into it. What I told them from the start, 'you're going to enjoy it as much as they enjoy it if you have the right attitude about it.' Our guys did awesome with it, I couldn't have been happier. I was pleased with the effort they gave and the investment in the kids."

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