Legendary Vol inspires young athletes at Clinton High School basketball camp

Boys attending last week’s basketball camp at Clinton High School were treated to a special guest appearance by former University of Tennessee star guard Chris Lofton, who spoke to them about the importance of working hard and listening to their coaches. (photo:Dwayne Wilder )
A special guest made an appearance at the Clinton High School boys basketball camp late last week.

Former University of Tennessee basketball star Chris Lofton provided some instruction, spent time with campers and camp staff, and signed autographs Thursday at the Don W. Lockard Gymnasium.

Lofton, who played for the Volunteers from 2005-08, was one of the most-decorated players in Tennessee basketball history.

He is one of five former Vols to have his jersey number (5) retired and hanging in the rafters at the Food City Center at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Other UT players to have their numbers retired include Bernard King (53), Ernie Grunfeld (22), Dale Ellis (14) and Allan Houston (20).

Lofton wasn’t drafted to play in the NBA, but after college, he’s enjoyed a long professional career overseas.

He was a Kentucky Mr. Basketball in 2004 before arriving in Knoxville. With the Big Orange, Lofton was a member of the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2005.

He also earned First-Team All-SEC honors three-times. Lofton was the Associated Press SEC Player of the Year as a junior in 2007.

He was a two-time Second-Team Consensus All-American. He was a Third-Team NABC All-American in and named Second-Team All-American by the Sporting News in 2006.

As a professional player, Lofton won a Pro A Championship and a French Cup title.

He was named the Most Valuable Player of the French Cup in


Lofton’s accomplishments on the floor were stellar but Clinton basketball Coach Chris Lockard said that Lofton is an even better person.

“The kids didn’t know who he was, but he spent time with them and he’s just a great guy,” Lockard said.

“My players working the camp really enjoyed having him, and my son, who was working the camp for the first time as an assistant coach, was a big fan and I was a big fan.”

Lofton’s visit to the camp was sponsored by Bill and Bob Arowood and Madison Insurance Group of Oak Ridge, Clinton and Knoxville.