iHoops, USA Basketball Conduct Clinic in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – On Friday, iHoops, San Antonio Sports, USA Basketball and the Brazil U18 National Team put on a clinic on Friday for over 150 local kids. It marked the final day before the start of the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. The U.S. and Brazil squads helped with drills, skills and gave shooting and other tips to the group of excited youngsters.

To end the clinic, members of the USA U18 National Team put on a dunk contest. Austin Rivers and Pat Young started their tricks by tossing the ball off the wall behind the backboard, Kyrie Irving, a member of the iHoops First Team, added a little between-the-legs move before flying sky high, and others were just as good. The crowd of kids gave out mostly eights, nines and 10s. But they wanted more. And LeBryan Nash gave them exactly what they wanted by leaping over teammate Josh Hairston before slamming the ball into the net.

We caught up with a few of the athletes before they headed off to lunch to find out their thoughts on the afternoon’s clinic and dunk contest.

Abdul Gaddy

What did you do today?
We just helped the kids learn basic skills, dribbling, in and out moves, simple stuff. We were just trying to make them have fun going up against each other and stuff. They looked like they had a good time. When we interacted with them, they seemed like they were having fun.

Why is it important to give back to the community?
We were once in this position. I think it’s important for them, it’s important for us to stay humble and see these kids out here and want them to learn. It’s also important to make sure they have fun. Some of them might not be in the greatest positions in the world, so this is like happy time for them.

Do you do a lot of this at Washington?
Yes, we do. We go to the hospitals. We’ll play with the kids, whether it be little stuff like playing basketball or doing drawings with them. We go to schools, help out. We actually have kids come to our school and we’ll do clinics with them like this, dribbling drills, shooting drills and stuff like that.

LeBryan Nash

It seemed like all the kids were all cheering for you.
They all liked me because I’m from their state. I represent them, so they loved me.

Why is it important to give back to the community?
It’s always good to do stuff like this. You see those kids, they look up to you and you’re role models for them. So you have to represent. You’re just doing what God wants you to do.

Did you participate in clinics like this when you were younger?
I remember Anthony Randolph doing things like this with us. Now he’s in the NBA. He worked out with me a lot. He said I was going to be special and that’s what I’m saying to those kids. They’re going to be special one day, they’re going to be just like us and playing for the USA.

Tony Mitchell

What did you teach the kids?
We taught them some skills, did some drills and had fun with them. (The hometown crowd) is always like that when you’re playing in another city and you’re from Texas.

Why is it important to give back in the community?
Because you need to give kids love and caring, show them that you’re there for them, help them with their basketball skills and show them what they accomplish in life.

Did you go to clinics like this when you were a kid?
Oh yeah. I really did. I used to try to go to as many camps as I could and learn as much as I could.

Jereme Richmond

Did you enjoy today’s clinic?
It was a lot of fun. I remember times when I was this age and I looked up to older players for instruction. I remember it being a fun time to be around all the older players. That inspired me to get better.

What did you teach the kids?
Today we did a lot of drills just to get some fundamentals down. I really enjoyed working with the kids.

Did you participate in clinics like this when you were younger?
I had some local players, I attended a lot of the high school camps around my area. I had a lot of players, Ron Fraser, just some players that I looked up to when I was younger. For these kids to get a chance to see us and for us to interact with them, it’s always a fun time for me.

Austin Rivers

What are your thoughts on the clinic today?
It’s a great opportunity to come out and help the community. It’s a responsibility, we’ve got U-S-A on our chests and it’s important just to show that we care and help these kids get better. The kids were awesome. They’re full of energy. They looked like they all had a great time competing. A lot of them are actually pretty good.

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