It’s about eight weeks before the NFL kicks off, and many fans can't wait to celebrate the boys of fall.
One pro athlete with ties to central Georgia was back to help educate and entertain his hometown with his annual football camp.
Our Marvin James traveled to Irwinton for the Bud Dupree First 48 in Death Valley.
In an area of central Georgia known more for basketball championships and hoop dreams, Wilkinson County's Alvin Bud Dupree is adding football to the headlines with his annual First 48 Bud Dupree Football Camp, but he says he'll never forget his roots on the hardwood.
“It's definitely a basketball town, born and bred, but I had to bring football here on the map. I also try to do something for basketball with my charity weekend, so that will be a good time to bring the basketball atmosphere back as well,” said Dupree.
It’s the second year the Pittsburgh Steeler has hosted the event, which is free for all players ages 6-16 to come out and learn from the 2011 Wilkinson County grad and experience something he never did when he was their age.
“They benefit a lot from seeing me and other NFL players like Ronnie Shields and older guys who've been down that road…seeing that it’s possible to make it coming from a small town,” said Dupree. “Coming up as a kid, you always want to be in a position to give back and help others out. We never had camps like this growing up, so it feels good to be that person to finally give back in the neighborhood.”
Bud Dupree was a dominant force in the Palace and in Death Valley as an All State two-sport athlete.
He went on to continue his standout career at the University of Kentucky and is now performing above average at the NFL level and he's excited about the future.
“The NFL has been great and it’s been fun. I had my injuries last year which set me back, but I'm training much harder this year. It’s going to be an exciting year for me and fun for the team,” said Dupree.
The colors are usually blue and gold around these parts, but on Saturday black and gold was more prominent.
“It’s great time to be from Wilco. A great time for expansion. I love Wilco and love where I'm from,” said Dupree.
Next week, Dupree celebrates his 48 hours of charity -- which is a nod to his Steelers jersey number.
On Friday, there’s an alumni basketball game at the Palace starting at 6 p.m.
On Saturday at Macon’s Central City Park, they’ll be riding for a cause.
All motorbikes, ATVs, cars, dune buggies, or anything else with wheels will have a police escort through the city raising money for the Children's Hospital and Cancer Society. It all begins with a vehicle check-in at 10:30 a.m.