Tuesday, April 23, 2024

More than basketball: Coach Randall’s local legacy lives on with the 26th season of camp

Edgar Randall's legacy will continue as his sons take over his basketball camp for its 26th season. (WYDaily/Courtesy Brandon Randall)
Edgar Randall’s legacy will continue as his sons take over his basketball camp for its 26th season. (WYDaily/Courtesy Brandon Randall)

Summer in Williamsburg will be different this year without the sounds of Edgar Randall leading his young basketball players.

“It’s not summer without basketball camp,” said Brandon Randall. “It’s not summer without him, really.”

Brandon Randall is the son of longtime Williamsburg coach, teacher and mentor Edgar Randall. Edgar Randall died after fighting colon cancer in January.

He was 62 years old.

But part of the beloved coach will remain in the community as his sons, Brandon Randall and Bryan Randall, take over his well-known basketball camp in its 26th.

“It was interesting because last summer my dad said he wouldn’t be continuing the camp,” Brandon Randall said. “And I told him we have to keep it going, we can’t just let it go.”

In his last summer with his father, Brandon Randall was able to see him at his best. Working with students as young as 7 to high school students, Brandon Randall found himself still amazed at the impact his father still has on his students after all those years.

The basketball camp first started when Edgar Randall went to teach at the Williamsburg Christian Academy in 1993. One of the first things he did, his son said, was ask if they had a basketball camp. When he learned there wasn’t one, he started his own, formerly known as Flying Eagles Basketball Camp.

Since then, the camp has continuously grown in popularity, going from having five students to 30 each year. But even after more than two decades, participants fondly recall the experience.

“When I think about camp, there’s always this happy intensity, everyone comes early and stays late,” said Jennifer Falin, a former camper.

Falin had first attended the camp in 2000 and has been involved in some way since then, whether as a camper or counselor. Now, nearly 20 years later, she has become a high school biology teacher and credits her passion in her career partly to Edgar Randall’s influence.

“Coach Randall always emphasized how to be a good person,” she said. “If you’re losing a game or in life, you don’t give up on yourself. And that’s what I want to try and teach my students.”

As a longtime friend of the Randall family, Falin said she was thrilled to see his sons taking over the camp. She said they are so much like their father that she has no doubt they’ll have an impact on the players.

Edgar Randall kept the momentum of his camp all the way through his battle with colon cancer so that even the students in recent years could feel the camp’s impact.

Over the past few summers, Adrienne Foster loved seeing her daughter attend the camp each year, not only for the basketball skills but for the confidence it gave her.

“Everything about Mr. Randall was about making a difference in others,” Foster said. “[My daughter] would always look forward to telling him how well she was doing or when she made a team, and he would always say ‘I had confidence in you.’”

Foster said when she picked up her daughter from camp everyday, the other parents were never waiting outside for their children, but rather in the gym, watching the end of practice because the energy was infectious.

In its 26th year, Brandon Randall and his brother have renamed the camp The Edgar Randall Basketball Camp to honor the man who started it all.

“Honestly, the basketball is awesome but he’s the one that made it different,” Brandon Randall said. “It’s multi-generational now and it’s really important to a lot of families.”

For more information, visit the Edgar Randall Basketball Camp online.

Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doironhttp://wydaily.com
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at alexa@localvoicemedia.com.

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