Josh Howard brings annual camp to Anderson center

Josh Howard brings annual camp to Anderson center
June 29
05:00 2017

 It’s summertime and time once again for the Josh Howard Foundation’s basketball camp at the W.R. Anderson Recreation Center. The camp which ran from June 21-23 was free for the kids and is the highlight of the summer for many of the local youth.

The three-day camp gives the boys and girls of the community center a chance to experience playing basketball in a fun atmosphere.  Being that Howard is a former NBA All-Star the kids, also are privy to information, skills and drills that will enhance their game on the court.

For Howard, who comes from humble beginnings in the city of Winston-Salem, he says it means the world to him to be able to give back to the youth of the city, especially after his NBA career has ended.

“I am never going to stop giving back to the city of Winston-Salem and I am going to continue doing what I am doing,” said Howard.  “To see those kids’ faces light up and ask me the same rhetorical questions is great.  They are curious and want to know what it takes to get out of Winston-Salem, and I have the knowledge to give to them.  It is up to them to take it and run with it.”

According to Howard, some of the kids that have come through his camp are now young adults and are well on their way to achieving scholarships playing basketball on the collegiate level.  He says they have been very appreciative for his commitment to the youth of the city.  Howard has also employed some of these young people to act as counselors for his camp, so it has truly come full circle for him.

For Howard he feels as though his new position as a college coach has helped him in teaching the game to the younger generation by having more patience. 

“Many of these kids don’t really have the means to learn the game of basketball the right way,” he went on to say.  “All they really have is the rec center to play ball and when I come up here I basically just teach them stuff that I have learned.  At the same time I came up in the same rec but I didn’t have an NBA player to teach me anything so I had to learn on my own.

“Being able to be a head coach and being more grounded here in Winston again is great,” Howard said.  I am very accessible and there are kids here that want me to help them work on their game.  I just want to keep pushing them to be better than they were the day before.  I want them to be better than I was because I was just a kid that was hungry growing up in Morningside, and I knew where I wanted to get to, especially when I made up my mind.”

W.R. Anderson Director Bryant McCorkle says the best thing about the camp is giving the kids an opportunity to see a person like Howard, who was able to achieve the ultimate goal of making it to the NBA, come back and give to the community as he does.

“He [Howard] is retired now and he could be doing any number of things, but he is here giving back to these kids,” McCorkle said.  “He is concerned in helping these kids, and you can’t say that about everyone.

“People commend Josh on the fact he is not after a dollar,” McCorkle continued.  “He could have charged any dollar amount he wanted, but all of his camps are free.  He remembered when he was coming up, his mother and grandmother wouldn’t have been able to pay for a camp, so why should these kids?”

McCorkle says he enjoys having the camps there and helping the youth out because he grew up in public housing in the city.  He says he witnessed other individuals make it out of the projects and never gave back to their community.  He said his heart is in the community and it’s all about planting good seeds in young people.

Howard says he is working on having his annual camp at the Hanes Hosiery Community Center as well this year.  With the retirement of legendary Director Art Blevins, he is not sure he can work out all of the logistics in time.  Howard says Blevins was a blessing to the community and will be missed greatly.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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