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In the years since Wichita native Kamerion Wimbley hung up his football cleats, he’s reinvented himself as an entrepreneur who owns several businesses in his hometown.

Those ventures have taken him all over the country, but Wimbley, a nine-year NFL veteran who played for the Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans, has always found the time to return to Wichita.

One of his most popular events has been his free annual Wichita Dreams Football Camp, which features other Wichita natives who have had stints in the NFL, such as Arthur and Bryce Brown, Davontae Harris, Elbert Mack, Tysyn Hartman, Dreamius Smith, and Kyle Wilson.

This year’s camp is scheduled for Friday from 5-8 p.m. at North High School and is expected to draw close to 400 kids.

“I remember when I was a kid and Barry Sanders came through to one of my camps and spent time with us,” said Wimbley, a 2001 Northwest graduate. “That meant a lot to me to see someone who was on television and had this national name recognition take time to come back to Wichita and share with us. For me, it’s always been a joy to come back to Wichita and share what I can with the kids.”

Wimbley knows from first-hand experience how crucial it can be for a child during developmental years to have a role model. It wasn’t that long ago that Wimbley was a kid who didn’t have any money and dreams of bigger things.

Now Wimbley wants to make his camp available to every child with a dream, that’s why it’s free of charge. And he also wants to make sure they have someone to look up to, which is why Wimbley has recruited a cast of Wichita natives who played different positions in the NFL.

“It’s so important because you emulate the guys that you know and the people who you’ve seen play before and lay that foundation for you,” Wimbley said. “I want to give kids that hope and give them different options.”

While the camp will focus heavily on how to become a better football player, Wimbley and his staff are making academics a higher priority for this year’s camp.

Wimbley wants to emphasize the importance of taking care of business in the classroom and becoming a well-rounded student-athlete.

“We’re going to encourage the kids to ask our players about what it takes to get to college or maybe what it takes to make the team or make varsity,” Wimbley said. “But also about the off-the-field stuff, like how to handle adversity. Or what it’s like trying to study for a test when you have a big game coming up. I just want them to be open with questions and give them the players who understand that system and know where they’re coming from.

“I can definitely say that after my NFL career, my life has been a busy one and I’ve learned so much. So one of the things I really want to keep encouraging the kids about is that life doesn’t stop after football. There’s still so much out there to achieve.”

As for the game itself, Wimbley says there’s a feeling that comes around every fall that makes him miss the game. He’s been retired from the NFL since 2014 after playing in 140 career games and recording 442 tackles and 53.5 sacks.

Some of his fondest memories are still from his time at Northwest, where he starred for the Grizzlies playing quarterback, receiver, defensive end, linebacker and punter from 1998-01.

 

SPT Nw 1Kamerion Wimbley, left, was a two-year starter at quarterback for Northwest High in the early 2000s before finding fame at Florida State and in the NFL as a defensive player. Fernando Salazar FILE PHOTO

 

But Wimbley has found a new way to be a part of the game with camps like the one in Wichita.

“Now I just really like watching the younger guys play and encouraging them,” Wimbley said. “I still enjoy watching the game and every once in a while you get that feeling of ‘Man, it would be nice to be back out there one more time.’ But I feel like I got it all out of me as far as the player side of things. Now I’m just interested in collaborating with the NFL and NCAA and teaching the game of football and preserving the values and the things that are important to pass down to future generations.”

Back when Wimbley left Wichita for Tallahassee to join the Florida State football team in 2002, many of those he met didn’t know where Wichita was and upon finding out, joked about the yellow brick road from The Wizard of Oz.

Now, almost two decades later, Wimbley has made it his mission to put Wichita on the map.

His efforts have been awarded, as it was recently announced that Wimbley will be part of the 2019 class inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday, Oct. 6 at the Kansas Star Casino.

“It’s one of those things where you work really hard and you wonder, ‘Am I doing the right thing? Am I really making an impact? Am I really helping change lives?’” Wimbley said. “Then when you get recognition like this from your home state, it really gives you the confirmation that you put in a lot of work and it’s appreciated. This is very humbling and it’s also an honor.

“I always felt like I represented Wichita and now to receive that representation at the state level, it opens up even more doors and opportunities.”

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – – It has been five years since Kamerion Wimbley rushed the quarterback for the Tennessee Titans.

Throughout his NFL career and even afterwards, Wimbley has continued to give back to the Wichita community.

The Wichita Northwest High School alum is hosting his fourth Wichita Dreams Football Camp this week.

The camp is expected to have anywhere from 400 to 500 kids attend.

Wimbley says the camp is two fold.

The camp will focus on teaching kids the basics when it comes to the game of football. However, it will also focus on the importance of getting a good education.

“It’s extremely gratifying for me to be able to come back and to pour into the area where I grew up at and help kids get better, help them learn the game of football, and ultimately meet new people,” said Wimbley.

The camp will kickoff at 5 p.m on Friday at Wichita North High School.

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Football has taken Kamerion Wimbley many places over his lifetime.

The 35-year old retired NFL star played for three teams from 2006 to 2014.

Along the way, the former Northwest Grizzly has always made sure to give back to his hometown.

Friday night, Wimbley hosted his 4th annual Wichita Dreams Football Camp at Wichita North High School.

The event brought hundreds of kids, from kindergarten to 12th grade out to learn about the game of football.

“It’s an awesome experience to be able to come back and pour into the youth, and see them get better, there are a lot of coaches and parents out here who I’m familiar with, to see them be out here, year after year, dedicating their time, their energy, their resources into the youth and the future is really an awesome experience,” said Wimbley.

Wimbley enlisted the help of several former and even current NFL players to help put the kids through various drills.

Wichita South alum Kyle Wilson, who now plays linebacker for the Los Angeles Chargers, enjoyed seeing the passion the kids have for the game.

“Just to see all these kids to have the ambition that they do at a young age like this, you know what I’m saying, already knowing what they want, a lot of these kids saying, oh I want to play in the NFL, I want to play football, it is good to see things like that, because I used to be just like these kids,” said Wilson.

Wimbley graduated from Northwest High School in 2001, before going to play college ball at Florida State.

He was drafted with the 13th pick in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.

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