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Summer camps try to convey antihazing message to young athletes

I read your article “Hazing allegations continue at summer athletic camps’’ (Sept. 22), and felt a need to write. This summer, we completed the 53d season of the Red Auerbach Basketball School, of which I am the director. This is a basketball camp for young men 12 to 18 years old. We are not a team camp and we have enrolled youngsters from all over, including Iceland, Israel, England, and across the United States.

Hazing and bullying are things we discuss throughout the week of camp. Our coaches talk about family, friendships, academics, and about making the right choices. We don’t preach to kids about not hazing and not bullying. We assume they aren’t and won’t be practicing these negatives. We talk with respect to our kids, our athletes, taking the lead in being sure it doesn’t happen. We tell them that as athletes they need to be role models in their schools. We tell them that they have an obligation to make a friend of someone who may not have one. We tell them that you can’t erase the spoken word, and they need to be the ones to be sure the practice of hazing, teasing, and bullying just doesn’t fly.

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