Clippers center will host his yearly four day camp at Pasadena Muir High School, August 5-8
Photos by Jeff Lewis
Los Angeles Clippers center Ryan Hollins believes in giving back to his community, and his way of doing that is by sharing his talents as a NBA basketball player with children who are from the area where he grew up.
Hollins yearly basketball camp, for boys and girls ages 7-17, is held at John Muir High School in Pasadena, where he was a standout player. He then went on to play four years at UCLA, and has played in the NBA since 2006.
To make it to college and the NBA, Hollins had to have a strong drive and a certain determination, which he is passing on to these children.
"The love, the effort, and the intensity makes the Ryan Hollins camp go," Hollins said. "It's not about me. This is a community right here. This is the kids, this is the parents, this is the coaches, the dedication that makes this camp special."
Hollins is helping these children get a little closer to their dreams, as the camp teaches them the fundamentals of the game, such as dribbling, shooting, and offensive and defensive concepts. The camp is extremely intense with a lot of fire coming from the camp coaches to push the children beyond their limits. Not just on the court, but off of the court as well.
"These kids are coming out of here sore, and with some game, and they're going to learn," Hollins said. "But beyond that I'm teaching them about life. I'm making sure that they have the skills on the court and off the court, because if you don't have it off the court, you don't have anything. Athletics and basketball only take you so far. But your mind, your education, that's a lifetime."
As much time as the children will spend on the court over the four day camp, they will spend just as much time in the classroom, as they will learn the importance of education.
"I can't stress how important education is, because without education, you cannot play sports," said Kristen McCarthy, a camp coach.
Players can do well on the court, but without good grades colleges will not consider them. The children will also learn life skills at the camp, and it is extremely beneficial to hear it from a person who has made it as far as Hollins has.
"This is a very important camp for kids of all ages, especially for the youngsters," McCarthy said. "They look up to a lot of older people for direction. They learn not only about the game of basketball, but off the court you learn about academics, and what it takes to succeed. These kids, they really need people that they can look up to, positive influences in their lives. This camp is the perfect place for that."
Hollins prides himself on being from Pasadena, which is one of many reasons why he returns home to put on this camp. And he also wants to steer children in the right direction.
"This camp is important to Ryan because he wants to give back to the city that made him what he is today," said Tray Meeks, who is the head coach at Bishop Alemany High School, and a camp coach. "He wants to give back to the inner city youth that probably didn't have a chance to meet a NBA guy, to meet a guy whose living their dreams.
"In every point in life there are forks in the road," Meeks continued. "You can go the negative way, or you can go the positive way. You have to choose to do the latter. You have to choose to listen. You choose to discipline yourself. You choose to listen to not only your parents, but all of the adults that can influence you in a positive way."
Tuition for the four day camp is $75. For parents who cannot afford the tuition, scholarships will available. Donations to the camp will be accepted, as it is a non-profit organization.
For more information visit www.ryan-hollins.com