The importance of determination and giving back to the community are just a few of the skills National Football League player Brandon Marshall taught at his self-titled free Youth Football Camp, June 2, at the Pittsburgh Barack Obama Academy field.

Marshall, a wide receiver for the Chicago Bears, partnered with the Pittsburgh Public Schools and other areas, and together they hosted more than 400 boys and girls ages 7-14 at the one-day camp.

WELCOME—Brandon Marshall talks to campers before they start drills at the Brandon Marshall Youth Football Camp. (Courier ­Photos/William McBride)

“It was great. This was more hands on, he ran every drill with the kids and makes it more of a life camp,” said Jason Bell, Pittsburgh director of the Brandon Marshall Camp and former Pittsburgh Public Schools coach. Bell said he has seen a lot of camps, but was very impressed with this one. “He gave a testimony of how he got into the NFL and that it’s important to give back to the community,” he said.

Bell also said Marshall stressed the importance of developing life skills, no matter what profession one chooses.

Although Marshall got his start in Pittsburgh on Larimer Avenue as a part of the Kingsley Knights midget football league, he later moved to Florida where he attended Lake Howell High School, in which he lettered in basketball and track, and the University of Central Florida.

Marshall and his organization were contacted numerous times, but failed to respond by the deadline of this publication.

Bell said the camp was important because Marshall reiterated what parents have been trying to teach their children.

“When you have a role model like that supporting what the parents are saying, it holds more value,” he said.

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