Youth go to Josh Howard to learn basketball

Youth go to Josh Howard to learn basketball
June 30
07:30 2016



Josh Howard has been a star on the basketball court since he laced up his sneakers for Glenn High School. He was a stand-out player for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and even became an NBA All-Star with the Dallas Mavericks.

To the kids of his basketball skills summer camp, he is their All-Star.

On June 27-29, Howard held his annual skills camp, sponsored by the Josh Howard Foundation, at the W. R. Anderson Community Center. Howard has held this camp for over a decade and said every year the camp just continues to grow. Kids from ages 7 to 15 participated in the camp.

“When I was growing up, we had outlets, but no visible athletes who made it to the professional level came back, so I felt like it was my calling,” said Howard.  “I just wanted to stay grounded with my hometown and give these kids an opportunity to see someone who made it from their own city.”

The camp is free to the kids of the community, which Howard said was very important to him because he doesn’t do it for money but instead for the love of the kids.  Throughout the camp the kids will participate in fundamental drills to improve their skills.  Life skills seminars will be  a part of the camp and a few NBA players may make a surprise visit as well. Howard wants to help the kids trans-late the skills of basketball into every-day life.

Howard stated that this camp is important to him because as a young man his mother and grandmother instilled in him the importance of giving back. He said because they worked tirelessly to make his life better, they wanted him to do the same for others.

“I’ve always told Josh, [that] when God blessed him to become a player in the NBA he not forget where God has brought him from,” said Nancy Henderson, Josh Howard’s mother.  “I told him as he gives, God will give unto him, so I think it’s great for the kids to let them know someone cares enough for them to do this, then they would want to reach out and do better with their lives.”

For the last couple of years, Howard was holding duel camps at W. R. Anderson and Hanes Hosiery Community Centers simultaneously but the number of kids was getting too large so he decided to hold separate camps this year, with the Hanes Hosiery camp coming in August. Anderson Community Center supervisor Bryant McCorkle has known Howard for years and says he is very happy that he decides to hold this free camp for the neighborhood kids.

McCorkle went on to say, “Josh has generously given a lot of kids an opportunity to participate in a camp. He could have easily charged hundreds for this camp, but he chose not to. It’s been a great partnership going on 13 years, and I look forward to doing it for years to come.”

Howard went on to say that he wants the kids to know that a kid from Winston-Salem can make it and there is more to life than just basketball.  He says he actually looks forward to this camp because he knows the kids here wouldn’t get this opportunity otherwise.

He recounted his years as a youth growing up in the Morningside section of the city and how he used to walk to the Anderson Community Center often.

The opportunity to see the kids grow throughout the years he has been holding this camp has been a blessing, he said.  Even some of the counselors of the camp are former participants.  He said having the kids continue to come back and see the impact his camp has is payment enough.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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