BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College on Saturday hosted 11 young athletes from the Washington, Pa.-based nonprofit Kings of the Court, their families, and their coaches for a Bison basketball game and a tour of the campus.

Kings of the Court allows boys in third through sixth grades in Washington School District to play travel basketball at no cost to the families. In return, the boys sign a contract pledging good grades, good sportsmanship, and good citizenship. The team also completes two community service projects each year.

“We want to show the kids there are things other than basketball,” Coach Andrew Callan said.

The sixth-graders visited Bethany College. While on campus, the group ate lunch in Ogden Dining Hall, toured the campus and the athletic facilities, and played a pickup game during halftime of the Bison men’s basketball game.

Dan Adams, director of enrollment for DOC recruitment, organized the first college experience for the group.

Kings of the Court is a school-based program for kids of Washington School District, which the Callans describe as a small, underfunded urban district.

“Because it’s about more than basketball, we wanted to get them on college campuses, so they could start thinking about that and be inspired to say, ‘Maybe I can do this,’” Callan’s wife, Marcie, said.

She added that waiting until they’re in high school to broach college is too late.

Dave Arnold, assistant Bison football coach, talked to the boys about the discipline and the attitude needed to be a successful student-athlete. He also talked about the importance of getting good grades.

That Arnold played in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Houston Oilers captured the kids’ attention, Marcie Callan said.

“The children were absolutely wide-eyed and their heads were on a swivel stick all day,” she said. “Some possibilities were opened up to them this weekend that, truly, I don’t think they ever knew they had.”

For more information about Kings of the Court, visit


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.