Doug Day was an outstanding basketball player and is now a successful high school coach that runs a long-running basketball camp. Last week, the camp at Blacksburg High School had more than 100 participants, one of the largest camps in its 23 years.
Day said the camp is a way to give back to the community that helped him to become a better basketball player.
After graduating from Blacksburg High School, he spent four years at Radford University where he was considered one of the top three-point shooters in the country, and continues to hold many of the NCAA shooting records. For eight years, he held the NCAA Division I record throughout the nation for the most three pointers made during his career. He recently had his jersey retired by the university, the first men’s basketball player in RU history to receive this honor.
Day is presently teaching health and physical education at Blacksburg High School, where he is also the head boys’ basketball coach. Previously, he had served as assistant basketball coach at Northside High School. He has also served as the head coach of the Blacksburg golf team that won state championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
He became head coach at his alma mater in 2002, leading the team to a 2008 Group IV State Final Four appearance. In 2014, Blacksburg was the Conference 32 regular season champions with Day being named the co-coach district of the year. This past season, the team was the Conference 32 tournament runner ups.
Day strives to make sure every camper has the opportunity to improve their skills, practice the fundamentals and participate in the games and contest while having fun and displaying good sportsmanship, while stressing positive qualities in life lessons to help campers on and off the basketball court.
“Putting on the Doug Day Basketball Camp is one way that I can give back something positive to a community in which I grew up in and helped me develop into the person I am today. Also, it is a way to combine two of my greatest passions of working with youth and staying involved with the game of basketball,” he said.
Several campers were given an award that has a special meaning to its director. The Doug Day Sr. award was established in memory his father.
“He had a huge impact on my life and the many people whom he came into contact with. He was a hard- working , humble and positive person who always saw the glass as ‘half full.’ He believed in the 3-Ds of life: Dedication, Determination and Desire. So, we give out the award to the campers who display these traits throughout the week,” Doug Jr. said.
His father was also a big influence in starting the camp and served on the bench with his son up until his death after a battle with cancer.
“We give this award each year because we want to make sure that his legacy and values are remembered and honored. He was an inspiration in our family’s life and he was the driving force behind the beginning of this camp in 1994,” Day said.
Recently a computer lab at a school in Haiti was opened in remembrance of Doug Day Sr.
His father was a person who would always lend a helping hand, according to his son, to those in need. When he passed, in order to honor his legacy, a computer lab for the children in Ecole Philadelphia de Mirebalasis, Haiti was built and named after him.
“As we look back on the legacy of our father, we can see the impact that he has had on the lives of our family, our community, our nation and beyond. The computer lab in Haiti, the Douglas M. Day Fire Emergency Safety Center built on the Radford Army Ammunition Plant, our basketball camp, my sister’s business were all created as living legacies to honor a man who focused on his faith first, his family, leadership and learning,” Day said.
His father had served as the safety director at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant for over 15 years.
Looking back, the camp director feels blessed to have had great campers, counselors, family, friends and businesses who have major contributors in the growth and success of the camp over the last 23 years.
“It also goes back to what my father taught me to always work hard, do your best, follow your dreams and believe in yourself,” he said.
Many of the counselors that worked the camp this year were former camp participants. Day’s vision is to continue to grow the camp and to continue to reach the youth in the New River Valley and beyond, and perhaps offer satellite camps and/or camps in other regions of Virginia by the 30th year anniversary of the camp.