For the second consecutive year, Washington Redskins’ defensive lineman Chris Baker held a free youth football clinic––Swaggy’s Skills Camp––for kids across the D.C./Maryland/Virginia area. With approximately 200 kids turning out for the event at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex in Hyattsville, Maryland, the camp was a huge success once again this year.
“I have the Chris Baker Foundation, and I really wanted to promote and give back as much as I can,” Chris said regarding what went in to putting together the free camp. “This––having a free football camp for kids––is my best way of giving back and letting these kids learn from other coaches and football players.
“It’s a great feeling being able to give back to the community, and to help out some of the kids who look up to me. When I was younger I used to look up to Marcus Camby a lot. He used to have a basketball camp and would bring back NBA stars, and I remember that feeling as a little kid. Whatever he told me, I was going to do it. So I always said if God ever put me in the position to be an NFL or NBA player, I’d always come back, help the kids and give them someone to look up to.”
With help from the Greater Metropolitan Youth Football League and its coaches, the kids were able to rotate through different stations with numerous football drills with youth coaches, Chris himself, and a couple of Chris’ Washington Redskins teammates who showed up to support his foundation.
Baker wasn’t just there to make an appearance, he was also out there helping with drills and coaching up some of the kids and interacting with the youth coaches.
Although Baker is originally from Hartford, Connecticut, playing for the Redskins for the past four seasons has given him a second home in the DMV area.
“I bought a house out in Ashburn (Va.), and I have to support my new hometown. So I do a camp here and another camp up in Hartford, Connecticut. Right now we’re (the Chris Baker Foundation) pretty much focusing on these camps, and doing a lot of mentorships. So any time someone needs me to go to different programs or high schools, I always go out and share my story and tell them how I made it to where I’m at now.”
In terms of the upcoming season, Baker, 28 years old and entering his fifth season with the Redskins, is more than ready for the 2016 regular season: “I can’t wait. We’re doing good in OTAs so far. It’s been a great turnout in practice, and I think our team looks really good.”
And let’s not forget about his thoughts on the addition of CB Josh Norman this off-season: “It makes my life a little bit easier. It’ll give me another second to get to the quarterback.”
For more information regarding Chris’ foundation, and any future events, you can check out his website at chrisbaker92.com, or follow him on Twitter @cbaker92redskin.
Photos: Ben Heck