By Ivy Velazquez
For 12 years, Ed Treimanis has led and overseen the Bibles and Basketball camp at Immanuel Lutheran, a program dedicated to sharing the love of God and basketball with kids. Treimanis has worked with a few basketball celebrities in running his camp and assisting in other similar camps such as the Harlem Legends Shoot For the Stars camp held at the Ministries and Activities Center (MAC) at the First Baptist Church of Brandon. One of these is former Harlem Globetrotter, Larry “Shorty” Coleman.
Treimanis and Shorty met five years ago, and after discovering that they both had a passion for basketball and helping children, they started working together. Although Shorty comes to Brandon primarily for the Harlem Legends camp, they have set it up so both camps do a charity game every year together.
“I’ve only missed one Bibles and Basketball game and that was due to medical injury,” said Shorty.
Shorty is involved in many charities in addition to the two camps. In fact, he has been partaking in charities since 1994. He also has been involved with hospitals such as St. Jude’s and spent time with religious figureheads such as Pope John Paul II, but Shorty’s main focus has been to teach kids basketball and how to continue to be positive. He feels that this is important in ensuring kids a safe and bright future.
Though the Bibles and Basketball camp was not held this summer, Treimanis still assisted with the Legends camp with Shorty. This year the camp was held Monday through Friday, June 20-24. Though Treimanis’ camp was not held, the annual charity game will still be taking place in the fall. As of this time, there is no specific date, but Treimanis has already been in contact with Bloomingdale High School and Bell Shoals Baptist Church about using their gyms for the game.
Many who have worked with Treimanis speak highly of his passion for his camp and basketball. Jim Price, a former NBA player who began his career with the LA Lakers, and now local to Valrico, has participated in past charity games and had especially kind words to share.
“We’re all given a talent by God and Ed just loves sports and I believe that this is part of his ministry,” said Price.
More about camp and updates on the game in the fall, visit www.biblesandbasketball.net. Information on the Harlem Legends camp can be found at www.harlemlegends.com.