By Tim Harfmann
Saint Kevin Church in Flushing, Queens, wanted young players to learn about basketball from one of the best. So, they brought in Bernard King — an NBA Hall of Famer.
“I was very grateful. It was a very fun experience,” said Amaya Hernandez, a fifth grader.
“You get to meet someone that’s really good at something, and then you get to learn skills and stuff,” said second grader Thomas Sullivan.
The New York Knicks great hosted a clinic for nearly 50 children on January 11.
The six-foot-seven forward spent 14 stellar seasons in the NBA. Now, he’s giving an assist to the next generation of hoop stars.
“It’s very important to have kids understand that they can enjoy themselves playing the game of basketball; but it’s also equally important to have other individuals help young people,” said King, a four-time NBA All-Star.
The Brooklyn native taught the kids the basics of dribbling, using the backboard and the give-and-go.
Hernandez is only in the fifth grade, but has sights on playing professionally.
“It was a little nerve-racking at first, but overall I got used to it,” she said.
Hernandez could reach her goal by following King’s advice both in and out of bounds.
“The lessons you learn in basketball are the lessons that you need in life. Part of that is commitment, conditioning, listen to mentors,” said King, who averaged 22 points-per-game and five rebounds-per-game in his career.
“If you learn from that advice, you’ll get better,” Hernandez added.
Fundamentals for a slam dunk to success.