ATLANTA, Feb. 4
-- On Tuesday, February 4th, the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA presented by Gatorade and Nike played host to hundreds of children from local community organizations and schools in the Atlanta area during a series of Books and Basketball Clinics to show the benefits of the game of basketball, teach the fundamentals of the game, highlight sportsmanship and leadership skills and reinforce the importance of reading. A court dedication ceremony at the Anderson Boys and Girls Club also unveiled a refurbished basketball court by the NBA and Nike made partially from recycled Nike sneakers.
Nykesha Sales reads with a young fan during the Jr. NBA/WNBA Books and Basketball Clinic on February 4, 2003.
(M. David Leeds/NBAE/Getty Images)
of the Connecticut Sun joined NBA Hall of Famer Bob Lanier, NBA Legend Dominique Wilkins and Shareef Abdur-Rahim of the Atlanta Hawks at the James T. Anderson Boys and Girls Club in Marietta, Georgia.
"I think it's very encouraging for young kids to see players and other role models getting into the community, really reaching out to them. A lot of us don't have to be here, but we come back to give back, just to relay the message about how important reading is and how important it is to really appreciate the things that we have and take advantage of them.
"The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA is definitely a good thing. This gets kids thinking about goals. If a career in sports is what it is then this is a good way to get in some practice, play against people, learn teamwork, learn different things that you'll need to get into this field. I really didn't have anything like this. I would go to the rec center and play with the guys who wanted to play pickup. But it wasn't really organized. There were no programs for women like the Jr. WNBA. "