Thursday, 15 August 2013 00:00
Just weeks after breaking an all-time NBA record for most threes on the biggest stage in basketball, San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green recently hosted the Team Green Basketball Academy at Floral Park Memorial High School.
The camp was open to children of all skill levels from ages 5-18 and was the second year that the former St. Mary’s star hosted the camp at the Nassau County high school.
“This year there’s a lot more variety,” said Green on his second day of the camp. “A lot more kids showed up and know about it. I know more kids and know the gyms better so why not do it again?”
The camp started off at 9 a.m. and from 9-10, the kids went through speed and agility training, according to camp counselor Joe Lynch. From 10-11, the rising stars scrimmaged against each other and from 11 to noon, campers learned shooting and ball handling from the camp counselors. After lunch at 1, campers had the chance to play their coaches and even go on the court with one of the best players in the world. The camp also provided contests and prizes at the end of the day.
“They are a great group of kids,” said Lynch. “Everyone tells him [Green] how great of a time their son or daughters had and it’s their kids’ favorite camp they’ve been to.”
The Village of Floral Park was just as happy to have their Long Island hero back for another year. According to Jim Jackson, athletic director of Floral Park Memorial, having Green back was something they had to make sure happened for a second year.
“The kids are really excited,” said Jackman. “It’s great to have a great role model like Danny Green to be here to represent the community.”
The area’s support of the former Long Island native has been expressed via social networks during the Finals and throughout the season. As much as the Nassau County towns need their local NBA star, Green also needs them as well.
“It’s great to have support from your community,” says Green. “It can either make you or break you and to have support from the community feels good. Whenever you make someone proud, it makes you feel proud of yourself.”
Although the spotlight may have been on Green in Miami during the NBA Finals, the spotlight here shines brightest on the campers who look forward to summer to start the basketball camp, like 12-year old Floral Park native, Andrew Viscaglia.
“It’s really exciting to have Danny here,” said the second year Team Green camper. “It’s great knowing that there are people like him who want to help kids.”
For the former Tar Heel who now seems larger then life, he hasn’t forgotten his roots and how he grew to be the player he is today, and that’s what he teaches the kids at his camps.
“I was once one of you guys,” Green tells the kids at the camp. “I wasn’t the fastest or strongest but I had a little bit. I had to work on shooting because I wanted to be the best.
If you try to be the best and if you give it your all, anything can happen.”