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The Boston Globe

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Letter: Sports camp discourages its players from hazing

I read your article about the problems of hazing as it relates to summer sports programs (“Out of bounds,” 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.

The issue of hazing and bullying is something we discuss throughout the week of camp. Our lectures aren’t always about basketball, but our coaches talk about family, friendships, academics and about making the right choices.

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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 they need to be the ones to be sure the practice of hazing, teasing and bullying just doesn’t fly.

A lot of good kids have gone through the Auerbach School over these 50-plus years, and to think we have reached them all would be crazy. But we feel good about what we are trying to do. We feel we have gone the extra mile to help make our kids better basketball players and better people. I am sure there are other camps that do a good job with kids and make a summer sports program worthwhile. It can be done.

Director, Red Auerbach

Basketball School

Smithfield, R.I.

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