Former NBA players giving back to community - WSMV Channel 4

Former NBA players giving back to community

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Inner city youth basketball players in Metro Nashville are hoping to improve their skills on the court, and they are learning from the best former NBA and oversees professional basketball players.

They have gone up against the best of the best in their NBA, professional and college basketball histories. Now they are facing off with pint-size players.

Former Stafford High, Mississippi State, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics player Donte Jones is now giving back to the community that once gave to him.

"We don't do this thinking every kid is going to make their high school team, we definitely don't do it thinking that the kids going to the NBA," Jones said. "I do this to give back something that was giving to me."

This is all part of the Music City Basketball Academy camp, which was the brain child of former Glencliff High and Tennessee Tech basketball player David Keary.

"We've opened it up to make it affordable for inner city kids, kids of all ages, kids of all playing abilities," Keary said.

But this is not just about basketball, it's a life lesson.

"What we teach them here on the court, we want them to take it home and apply it to their school life," Keary said.

The youngsters get a condensed college and professional style workout in just two hours for only $10.

"We have a lot of men and young women we are trying to groom into good student-athletes," said Corey Allen, former University of Tennessee and professional player. "We're trying to teach them a lot of discipline, and whatever you put into it you get out of it."

Just maybe the next NBA or WNBA player is amongst the crowd.

"If it's just one kid, we've done our job," Jones said.

The Music City Basketball Academy Camp started with only 20 players back in May and has grown to 90 to 95 participants. It is held each Sunday at McGavock High School from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The camp has been so successful, the National Youth Basketball Association League was formed with more than 250 players.

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