Al Jefferson to Hold Charity Youth Basketball Camp
Al Jefferson, star of the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves, will host an assortment of charity events in his hometown of Prentiss, Mississippi during the last week of July. He will kick off the week with his first annual Charity Basketball Camp for Prentiss youth and end the week with the Al Jefferson Family Fun Day.
Al Jefferson grew up in the small town of Prentiss, Miss., and wanted to help encourage and empower the young people of this small community to work hard, follow their dreams, and provide them with basketball skills in the process. "I have been so blessed in my life, and I wanted to give back to the community that raised me," Al said. "I hope these camps will be the beginning of an annual event to help the Prentiss community."
The charity basketball camps will be free of charge and are designed to reinforce the fundamentals of basketball and to encourage young people through sports. Al's NBA friends Tony Allen of the Boston Celtics, and former Timberwolves teammates Sebastian Telfair and Rashad McCants, will be flying in to Al's hometown to help coach the kids from Prentiss.
The camps will be held from Wednesday, July 29th-Friday, July 31st, 2009 at Prentiss High School (2429 Mississippi Ave), in Prentiss, MS. The camp will host both boys and girls of varying ages and skill levels on alternate days.
To end the week, Al has partnered with international non-profit Feed The Children to provide $40,000 worth of food and personal care items to 400 families in the Prentiss area. This will take place on August 1st at South Pleasant Baptist Church.
"We are so happy to be able to get the chance to work with Al Jefferson," said Larry Jones, president and founder of Feed The Children. "To growing boys and girls across the country, Al is a role model and what better way to set a great example than by helping hundreds of families. We thank Al for his support and for working with us to help change the lives of hundreds of families today."
About Feed The Children
Founded in 1979 by Larry and Frances Jones, Feed The Children is consistently ranked as one of the 10 largest international charities in the U.S., based on private, non-government support. Feed The Children is a Christian, international, nonprofit relief organization with headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, that delivers food, medicine, clothing and other necessities to individuals, children and families who lack these essentials due to famine, war, poverty or natural disasters. In FY 2007, Feed The Children distributed more than 135 million pounds of food and other essentials to children and their families in all 50 states and internationally, supplementing almost 800,000 meals each day. Since its founding, the organization has reached out to help those in need in 118 countries around the globe. For more information, please visit www.feedthechildren.org.
About Al Jefferson
Al Jefferson, Prentiss Mississippi native, started as a freshman for Prentiss High School's varsity basketball squad, and it was evident he possessed superior athletic ability in addition to his 6'8" frame. Al dominated his competition, earning a spot in the McDonald's All-American game, as well as All-American nods from Parade and USA Today. He was also named a finalist for the Naismith Award, awarded to the nation's top prep school player, and was named Mr. Basketball in the state of Mississippi. In the 2002-2003 season, Al took his team on his shoulders and brought them all the way to Mississippi 3A State Championship Final.
In June 2004, Al became the 15th pick of the NBA Draft and became the first high school player ever be drafted by the storied Boston Celtics. In 2007, after three years in Boston, Al was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves where he started all 82 games for Minnesota, averaging 21 points and 11 rebounds, and establishing himself as a premier low-post player, and one of the brightest young stars in the sport. In 2008-2009 Al was back at it again, averaging 22 points and ten rebounds until the year was cut short by an ACL tear.
Still only 24, Big Al has one of the brightest futures of any young NBA star. He is a refreshing kind of superstar, truly unchanged by the fame or accolades he receives, still the same down-to-earth kid who rocked the rims of his hometown courts, bringing his enthusiasm and love for the game to the stadiums of the NBA. For more information about Al or the events, please go to www.aljefferson25.com.
About Prentiss, Mississippi
Prentiss is a town in Jefferson Davis County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 1,158 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Jefferson Davis County. Prentiss is the hometown of actor Gary Grubbs and NBA player Al Jefferson.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.8 km²), all of it land. About 17.2% of families and 22.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 47.6% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.