By Jaclyn Harris
January 16, 2013
The Charlotte Bobcats and Lady Cats made a difference on the court without the fanfare when members of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte visited Time Warner Cable Arena® on January 16, 2013 for a Cats Care Clinic.
The event, led by Chad Hunt, Director of Youth Basketball for the Charlotte Bobcats, was in honor of NBA FIT Live Healthy Week. Its purpose was to show the kids that basketball is a fun way to stay active.
Throughout the night, children from ages 6-13 and their mentors traveled through different stations, led by the Bobcats, to work on a variety of different skills. The kids were able to work on passing, dribbling and shooting, while learning the value of teamwork. During each workshop, the players coached the kids and showed them the importance of practice and patience.
“It’s good for the kids and it’s good for us to remember where we came from,” said Byron Mullens. “There’s a lot of NBA players that were in the same boat when they were younger.”
Charlotte’s Jeff Adrien, was a part of the Big Brother Big Sister program when he was younger and knows the difference it can make. Adrien said not only did the program keep him out of trouble, but it also brought him a close friend that he still keeps in touch with.
“It’s pretty special. I actually told these kids that I went to camps my whole life, but I’ve never once been to a camp where there’s eight NBA players on the floor, you get to work with Rufus the mascot, and you get to go on an actual NBA court,” said Hunt. “It’s fun really seeing these kids enjoy it, get some one-on-one time with these guys and learn a little bit about the game of basketball as well.”
When the final buzzer sounded, the kids were able to ask the Bobcats questions about how they came to play in the NBA and what it’s like to play basketball for a living. In addition, Hunt played trivia with the kids, asking them where the players played college ball. The winner received a Bobcats basketball.
Jerome Diggs, big brother to Auston Davis, said, “It’s good to see Auston smiling and getting to interact with some guys that he sees on TV. It’s a cool experience.”
Director of Match Support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte Wendi Smith said this is one of the bigger events for the agency.
“It’s a great opportunity for the matches to interact in something they have an interest in, which is basketball, and to interact with professionals while connecting with the Charlotte Bobcats,” said Smith. “This is a great experience for them and our agency. This is a big highlight for them and they look forward to it.”