NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. â€” The Nellis Warrior Fitness Center basketball court was packed to capacity as more than 100 of Nellis Air Force Baseâ€™s youth were given the chance to be mentored by six USA Basketball Legends during the Hoops for Troops event July 10, 2012.
USA Legends Lenny Wilkens, Gary Payton, Chris Mullin, Spencer Haywood, Jerome Williams and Teresa Edwards, taught the youth basketball techniques during a one hour basketball clinic here.
For Lenny Wilkens, the coach with the most wins in NBA history, the event provided an opportunity to have a positive impact on todayâ€™s youth.
â€œThese are legends that their parents might have talked about or saw on TV, but now theyâ€™re actually out on the court with them â€” it can only be positive,â€ Wilkens said.
â€œThe legends show the [children] that they care, that they do matter and that if they aspire, they can achieve anything they set their minds to.â€
Chris Mullin, a member of the 1992 USA Olympic Basketball team known as the â€œDream Team,â€ said for him, the experience has just as much of an impact on him as it does the military family members.
â€œI think itâ€™s nice to spend some time with the kids, share some ideas, see the kids smile, and spend some time with their families,â€ said Mullin. â€œWe just appreciate everything the military does for us. Thatâ€™s what itâ€™s really all about.â€
For one hour, the USA Basketball Legends taught the youth fundamentals of dribbling, rebounding, shooting and passing. Throughout the event, the legends took the time to converse and interact with youth participants.
To show their appreciation, the NBA donated 30 basketballs to the Warrior Fitness Center, and the NBA Legends presented an autographed basketball to Maj. Gen. Bill Hyatt, U.S. Air Force Warfare Center commander.