By David Cordova
For many kids in the inner-city, the dreams of making the NBA are very big. Some kids don’t get the opportunities to attend venues such as Madison Square Garden or the Barclays Center because of hefty ticket prices, so the only way to see their heroes is to watch them on television. One couldn’t even imagine the thought of being worked out by a current NBA player.
This week at the Dunleavy Milbank Community Center in Harlem, the kids were in for a treat as Oklahoma City Thunder guard Anthony Morrow brought out his shooting skills camp to the community. There were at least 40-50 kids on hand that had an opportunity to learn from an NBA player. There were shooting drills and also ball handling and pivot drills that the kids learned.
Morrow, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, was a highly-touted prospect at Charlotte Latin High School, going All-State three years in a row, and averaged 24 points and eight rebounds as a junior and averaged 22.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists as a senior, which led to him winning the 2004 North Carolina Mr. Basketball Award, the highest honor in the state.
From there, he went on to Georgia Tech, in which he stayed for four years. As a sophomore, he averaged 16 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Then as a senior, he averaged 14.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. He finished his career with the Yellow Jackets third in career three-pointers with 258, tied with Travis Best. He also finished nineteenth on the school’s career list with 1,400 points.
Morrow entered the 2008 NBA Draft, but went undrafted. But then his hard work didn’t deter him from working hard to try and get a spot on an NBA team. In his first four seasons in the NBA, he averaged more than ten points a game with the Golden State Warriors and the New Jersey Nets (now the Brooklyn Nets). This season, through 74 games, he averaged 10.7 points and 2.1 rebounds per game with the Thunder.
The opportunity of being mentored by an NBA player is something that money can’t buy. Attending a camp like this is something that a kid would cherish for a lifetime. Morrow, a veteran of the NBA, stressed the importance of working hard and achieving goals. The fact that a humble gentleman like Morrow came out to spend his time with the kids speaks volumes.
Here’s our Q & A with the man himself, Anthony Morrow:
When did you first start playing ball?
I started playing organized basketball at 4 years old. From then, I started love the game.
Who influenced you to play basketball?
My influences were my mom, cousin and players like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, etc.
What motivates you to be great when playing ball?
Mainly, knowing it’s not just about me. It’s about my family, because they motivated me to be the successful person that I am today. I’m doing this for myself and for my family,
What made you want to bring this great camp to Harlem?
I did it a couple of years ago. My friends, Chris and Charlie do a great job for the community out here in New York, so I wanted to help them out.
When did you know for a fact that you were going to be an NBA player?
I realized it when I signed my first contract. I always dreamed of it, but it became a reality when it finally happened.
Now that you have made it to the NBA, are you content with where you are at in your game or do you believe that there is more to be achieved?
There’s always more to be achieved. You have to always want to work even more harder. You should never be content. The day I become content is the day I stop playing this game.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
Just trying to be the greatest person I can be. I see myself as far as I can go. All I have to do is just pray and grind.