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Professor Al
Al Horford will be doing plenty of schooling this summer.

By Jon Cooper

In Al Horford's three seasons in Atlanta, few people, if any, have ever questioned the way he plays the game.

That is going to change this summer and no one is happier about it than Horford, primarily because who will be doing the questioning.

"I'll be doing NBA Without Borders, going to Singapore, in June," he said. "So I'm excited about that."

It's not the first time that Horford has taken his skills to kids outside the United States, as he traveled to Mexico as part of the Basketball Without Borders Americas program of 2009. This time, the experience should prove extra rewarding to him as he'll be traveling to Southeast Asia, uncharted territory for him.

"It's a nice country to visit," he said. "I've never been to Asia. It's different and I'm really looking forward to it."

Basketball Without Borders, which began in 2001, will be a four-day clinic (June 28 through July 1), featuring NBA players and coaches, who will teach the fundamentals of the game to 60 youth basketball players from throughout Asia, as well as donate equipment, clothing and school supplies. The camp also will include seminars on health issues and youth fitness.

The teaching won't end for Horford once Basketball Without Borders does. The week after returning to the States, he will hold a camp of his own.

The Al Horford All-Star Basketball Camp will be held July 8th and 9th at the Dorough Field House and Schmidt Center on the campus of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. The camp, which is for kids ages 11 through 14 and costs $149, has a mission to teach the kinds of skills that not only will help kids improve their on-court game but will be useful in other sports and non-sports-related pursuits.

Once his camp is complete, Horford will begin to focus on training camp and the 2010-11 season. He admitted that his training regimen for this year's off-season has been pushed back some, but he sees that as a good thing.

"My past years I took off maybe about a week or so. I'm going to take a little more time this year," said, who is coming off a season that saw him named to his first All-Star Team while having his best scoring (14.3 ppg), rebounding (9.9 rpg) and shooting season (.551, .789 from the line and
even made the first career three-pointer). "I was
very fortunate that I was healthy all year, I played
a lot of games (81). So I'll probably take like a month off.

"You just have to be smart and you have to know your body needs rest," he added. "You've had a long season. So it's rightfully so that you take some time off."

He's also taking some time off from the pursuit of his degree at the University of Florida, which took up parts of the last two summers, sighting the length of the Hawks' season and his commitments.

"The summer A semester started in Florida already, so I'm kind of late for that one and I'm not going to do it during the second term because I have some camps and different things going on this summer," he said. "I think it would almost have to be in the fall for me."

on Cooper is a freelance writer based in Atlanta.