max_jean_gilles.jpgYoung athletes are in for a treat over the next week or so, with professional football and basketball camps scheduled for North Miami Beach and Miami.

The camps start with the third annual Hangout Day Weekend, Friday and Saturday, July 20-21, sponsored by the Stars of Tomorrow Foundation.

Miami Heat star Udonis Haslem will be among those taking part in a free celebrity charity basketball game and youth football and cheerleading camp from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday at the North Miami Beach High School gym, 1247 N.E. 167th St., North Miami Beach.

On Saturday, several NFL players will take part in a football camp led by North Miami Beach natives Max Jean-Gilles of the Philadelphia Eagles and E.J. Biggers of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. More than 20 NFL players are teaming up with Stars of Tomorrow Inc. for the event slated for 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mishcon Athletic Field, 16501 N.E. 15th Ave. North Miami Beach.

This camp is a free event that distributes back packs and school supplies while providing an entertaining day at the park with complimentary food, drinks and health screenings, in addition to the football and cheerleading clinic.

“Today's youth are so very precious. A large amount of them no longer just look up to their parents but to these entertainers that they watch on television. With me and other NFL players being role models and making it out of the ’hood, we want to give other children the opportunity to dream past their greatest limitations and expectations,” Jean-Gilles, co-founder of Hangout Day, said in a statement.

Other NFL players confirmed for the event, according to Stars of Tomorrow, include Arrelious Benn, Mason Foster, Anthony Gaitor, Myron Lewis, Elbert Mark, Preston Parker, Sammie Stroughter and Aquib Talib, all from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Demarcus Vandyke of the Oakland Raiders.

Manwhile, Miami Heat player James Jones will lead a separate Elite Basketball Skills Camp from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily July 23-27 at Ransom Everglades High School, 3575 Main Hwy, Miami.

This camp is being presented by Dibia Athletic Development, a Miami-based company that trains male and female athletes worldwide from age 5 to a professional level.

The local camp is designed to help youths aged 8-18 build confidence, character and technique. It will include athlete warm-ups, a hydration series, individual instruction, contests, lunch, film sessions, team games and guest speakers.

The founder and CEO of Dibia is Brandon Okpalobi, 30, who played college basketball alongside Jones at the University of Miami.

“Dibia” is an Igbo (West African dialect) term used to refer to traditional healers, experts and doctors. The process of becoming a Dibia involves years of training and many levels of initiation according to a statement from the orgtanization.

“Giving back to the community is one of the many core values of Dibia Athletic Development. I started Dibia Athletic Development because I wanted to give the gift of elite basketball training to athletes,” Okpalobi said in a statement.

Jones said he is happy to partner with Okpalobi to help groom future athletes and champions.

“I grew up in Miami and I did a lot of it on my own, so I always said that when I had an opportunity to give back I’d make sure I gave back, but I would give the kids some individual intensive instruction, not just generic instruction,” Jones said.

Okpalobi hopes to make the camp a community fixture. “Basketball has afforded me many opportunities and I wanted the game to do the same for others. Our vision for the Dibia Elite Basketball Skills camp is to enhance the basketball skills of the youth in Miami and make the camp an annual event,” he said.

For more information on Hangout Day Weekend, visit or email

For more information on the DIBIA Athletics Elite Skills Camp, call 786-543-8826 or visit

Photo: Max Jean-Gilles