How a former NKU basketball star honors the late father who taught him to play

Ties are big and power tools are popular, but of course, the best Father's Day gifts are kid-made. I loved the pictures my son would draw of me or the imprint of his hand in some plaster of Paris. I still have them -- that's how special they were.

Shannon Minor has given his father the same Father's Day gift for the past six years, and it still doesn't get old.

Some brief background: Shannon is currently the head boys basketball coach at North College Hill. Long before he began coaching, he was a top notch point guard at Colerain and then a super-quick playmaker at Northern Kentucky University. He helped lead the Norse to a pair of national championship games.

Shannon's skills didn't come naturally. He worked hard to develop them, and his father, Pete, helped.

Pete worked all day in Cincinnati from 7 a.m until 9 p.m., but still met up with Shannon in the Norse gym every night at 10 for father-son practice. Anytime and anywhere the Norse played, Pete was also there. Shannon says his dad drove to North Dakota and to Florida, and he flew to California if Shannon had a game.

He hadn't missed a game, home or away, since Shannon was in the 7th grade.

This was very common in the Minor family.

"He always rebounded for us," Shannon told me. "We would toss in the backyard; we'd play kickball next door in the parking lot".

Pete was involved in everything the kids did at home, and if Shannon was at a camp of some sort, Pete was there, too.

Pete Minor was everywhere until he wasn't there any longer. He was changing a tire on I-75 in April of 2011 when he was struck by a motorist and killed instantly.

The loss was overwhelming. Shannon and his family struggled with the reality of not having Pete in their lives any longer. He wanted to do something to remember his father.

He came up with the idea of holding a basketball camp in his dad's honor.

"But not your ordinary basketball camp when just kids show up, and the parents drop them off and leave," Shannon told me. "We wanted a camp that dads would actually stay at the camp, and they would also do the drills and play games with their child."

This is how Shannon remembers his dad. Pete wasn't an observer -- he was a doer with his children. That's what Shannon has tried to accomplish with the camp, which will be held Saturday afternoon for the sixth time.

You don't have to be a father to be part of the experience, but he is looking for "father figures."

"It could be a coach, it could be a neighbor, it could be a teacher, it could be an uncle," Shannon said.

The key is to be involved in the life of a boy or girl who is looking for direction.

The Pete Minor Father-Child Basketball Camp will be held Saturday, June 16, at Griffin Elite on Dolwick Road in Northern Kentucky. Admission is $60 for the Camper and the Father Figure. You can look online or call 859-801-5162 for information.

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