Local product and NBA player Quincy Pondexter says he loves to give back to the community. Pondexter did just that, hosting a four-day basketball camp for kids from kindergarten through ninth grade, June 25-28 at Buchanan High School.
“It has grown and become bigger every year,” Pondexter said of the camp. “I am really proud of the way the city has responded and supported. I am just honored to have it in my name.”
The eight-year veteran of the Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans and Chicago Bulls invited NBA champion Quinn Cook and Austin McBroom, a former college basketball star at Eastern Washington, to run drills and impart their basketball knowledge onto the campers.
McBroom is also a YouTube personality with over eight million subscribers and over one million followers on Twitter.
The kids were split into groups and ran through different dribbling, shooting, passing and defensive drills including how to properly deny an offensive player the ball and close out on a shooter, all in order to improve their basketball fundamentals. After the first half of drills, players were split up into teams and played games of three-on-three.
Also included in the $200 sign-up fee was a pizza lunch and the opportunity to socialize with other athletes attending the camp.
As the camp concluded, each athlete was given a T-shirt, ball, bag and a picture autographed by Pondexter.
Pondexter said that returning to Fresno to give back to the area that he grew up in is a fulfilling endeavor, and something he always had in mind.
“It means the world to me,” he said. “It is something that I have dreamed of as a kid just as much as playing in the NBA. I think that what you do off the court and bringing people to the game of basketball is just as important. I am really thankful for this opportunity to host such a great basketball camp.”
At the end of the day, Pondexter hopes that each athlete comes away with a once-in-a-lifetime experience: “Just the little things like those experiences are what matters the most.”