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Chasson's Dream Big Youth Camp Friday, June 9, 2017..

James Porter (left), 13, of Rock Island, goes past former Rock Island Rock and current New York Knick Chasson Randle as Randle guards camp participates in a lay up drill at "Chasson's Dream Big Youth Camp" last June. The second annual camp will be held July 27-28 at Rock Island High School.

ROCK ISLAND — Bigger and more streamlined, the second annual “Chasson’s Dream Big Youth Camp” is expected to be another huge hit this summer.

After more than 300 5th- through 8th-graders participated in a one-day boys’ and girls’ camp last June, Tut Cities Entertainment has added another day (with fewer hours) and nearly 100 more entrants to the free youth basketball and life skills camp.

Tut Education & Entertainment Cities intends to be a community resource in serving, educating and entertaining the Quad-Cities area through creating open and equal opportunities while uplifting the community.

One of the group’s founders, Thurgood Brooks, teamed with former Rock Island and Stanford star Chasson Randle to put together a camp that not only teaches the game of basketball, but about real life situations, finances and community involvement.

“It is a basketball camp and much more,” Brooks said. “We have a lot of people who come in to talk to the kids in breakout sessions. It is a great experience.”

Last year, registrations filled up in a matter of minutes. Brooks knew they had to find a way to get more kids involved. However, space and time was an issue.

So, he and his staff decided to make it a two-day event with 200 5th- and 6th-graders in on Friday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Then, the 7th- and 8th-graders take over on Saturday.

Randle will hold a half-hour autograph session from 1:30 to 2 p.m. each day.

“Our focus this year was growth, but also to make it easier on the volunteer workers,” Brooks said. “We won’t be at the school from 8 a.m. until after 5 p.m. this year. We are gaining 90 kids with this, which is the biggest thing.

“We will start at 8 a.m. with breakfast and sign-in and then start our day. It also allows us to to play the 50/40 Shootout over two days on Saturday and Sunday.”

Registration also is going to be different from last year.

Tut Cities Entertainment will be hosting a fish fry at Martin Luther King Center in Rock Island this Sunday at noon. From 1 to 1:30 p.m., 5th- and 6th-graders will be able to sign up with the first 100 allowed to register. Seventh- and 8th-graders will sign up from 1:30 to 2 p.m., again with 100 allowed to register.

On Monday, 100 more 5th- and 6th-graders and 100 7th- and 8th-graders can sign up online at The registrations will open at noon on Monday.

“We won’t be adding any more like we did last year,” Brooks said. “We are set at 200 for each day. Teams wanting to sign up for the 50/40 Shootout also can register Sunday at the fish fry or Monday online.”

Cost for the fish fry is $10 with drinks separate for $1. There also will be leftover shirts and wristbands from last year for sale. The proceeds will go to help keep the camp free.



Jeff is a sports reporter for

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