NBA Stars School Local Youth on Basketball and Life

673

DELRAY BEACH, FL – Former NBA basketball stars Otis Birdsong and Micheal “Sugar” Ray Richardson brought their Ball Stars Youth Camp to Delray Beach students this summer. The free basketball camp for boys and girls at Pompey Park Recreation Center, 1101 Northwest Second Street, was spilt into two age groups (8-12, 13-17), and focused on teaching local Delray Beach students life and basketball skills. Several of the Delray Lady Blazers basketball team attended the camp, as did players participating in other programs across the city. Birdsong and Richardson have offered their summer camps for underserved children across North America for almost a decade. “We’re all professional athletes, but what’s most important is that we all have college degrees,” Birdsong told the students at one of the camps sessions. “Education is the most important step. We all had to go to school to learn how to read and write and follow directions.” Birdsong played 12 years in the NBA with the Kansas City Kings, New Jersey Nets and Boston Celtics. He made the NBA All-Star team four times. Richardson played a total of eight NBA seasons on the New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors and New Jersey Nets teams, and then played around the world during a 24-year career as a professional basketball player. Birdsong and Richardson brought the camp to Delray Beach for one week at Pompey Park and one week at the Naoma Donnelley Boys & Girls Club, 1451 SW Seventh Street. They also did a week in Riviera Beach and one week in the Glades. For their Ball Stars Youth Camp, Birdsong and Richardson enlisted other former NBA stars to work with the kids. The camps started in Oklahoma, then moved to Palm Beach County for students in Delray Beach, Riviera Beach and Belle Glade, and then recently ended in Paterson, New Jersey. All of the camp participants received a free breakfast and lunch daily provided by Ball Stars Youth Camp. For more information about the annual camp, visit www.ballstarsyouthcamp.com.