Trail Blazers Call on Professionals to make it better
By make it better
Throughout this summer’s busy schedule of camps and clinics, the Trail Blazers have seen plenty of gyms and playgrounds full of smiling faces, loud cheering, passion and energy. Oh, and the kids have been pretty excited too.
Trail Blazers Strength & Conditioning Coach Bob Medina, Director of Player Programs Hersey Hawkins, Radio Analyst/Alumni Ambassador Antonio Harvey and a host of other Trail Blazers staff have always played a strong role in teaching kids the Trail Blazers brand of basketball during the off season. And their enthusiasm for the sport has definitely rubbed off on the camp-goers.
“For me, it’s all about the kids having fun,” says Harvey. “You have to make it fun for them so they come back and continue to learn and grow.”
“The kids are so energetic,” adds Medina, who is entering his 15th season with the Trail Blazers. “They’ll go as hard as you go.”
But for this group of Trail Blazers staffers turned coaches, it’s more than simply getting involved in the community in which they live and work. It’s also about giving back to the people who have given them so much.
“The Trail Blazers have a great feel for our fans,” notes Medina. “They’re so good to us, and it’s up to us to reach back out to them. We want the kids to walk away feeling good about themselves and about their game.”
A former NBA star, Hawkins knows what it means to have the support of a city. And he’s happy to pay the community back any way he can.
“I love the fact that the Trail Blazers are having an impact on the community, and the kids are having fun and learning at the same time,” says the former NBA All-Star. “That’s what basketball is all about.”
Harvey, who has led a number of Trail Blazers clinics this summer alone, shares a special bond with the people of Portland after spending part of his NBA career with the Trail Blazers and the last six seasons in Portland’s radio broadcast booth.
“I’ve been around a lot of teams for a long time, but I think the Trail Blazers engage their community like no other,” explains Harvey. “People take time out of their days to help kids learn and become Trail Blazers fans.”
Thanks to Antonio and the rest of the Trail Blazers staff for doing just that.
(By: Aaron Grossman)