Doug Christie Visits Sons and Brothers Camp

The Kings legend reflected on his upbringing and the importance of being a role model to the younger generation.
by Dan Lovi
Writer, Kings.com

Doug Christie and Kings rookie Skal Labissiere stopped by the Sons and Brothers Camp in Portola, California Wednesday afternoon to talk to campers and introduce them to some of the fundamentals of basketball.

The camp, which sits on an isolated 1,500 acres of Yellow pine forest 45 minutes outside of Reno, Nevada, focuses on bringing together young men of color and helping them realize their full potential in work, school and life.

Despite a long and successful 15-year career, Christie’s path to the NBA wasn’t always a smooth one. The four-time All-NBA Defensive Team member explained to the crowd of eager campers that he had a difficult childhood, and he could have easily gone down the wrong path.

“I see so much of myself in these kids, single family homes, my mom trying to make things work,” Christie told Kings.com. “There was a tipping point, maybe I’d go a bad way and then basketball saved me. To pay it forward and try and give them inspiration, to let them know that there is a different way, it’s invaluable.”

No. 13 recalled when a former NBA player came and spoke to him when he was young and how that helped steer him in the right direction.

“I remember Xavier McDaniel came and talked and I saw him and I just said ‘Wow, that could be me,’ and low and behold it turned out to be me. It’s our responsibility to try and pay it forward for young people and show them. It doesn’t necessarily have to be basketball. It could be artwork, we could have Picasso in here, you never know. But if they don’t believe in themselves they can go the wrong way.”

After Doug and Skal spoke to the campers, a handful of kids made their way to the outdoor basketball courts for some personal coaching from Christie himself. No. 13 ran numerous drills with the kids, from learning to dribble and shoot with both hands to the art of the jump stop and defense.

“My coaching style is fun and in your face,” Christie said with a smile. “I’m trying to cross the bridge of communication and every person is different. I try to show them that these are the fundamentals of the game and this is how the game is played, and when you play it this way, it’s a beautiful game.”

After an hour of stretches and drills, the campers had the opportunity to hoop with the players and participate in a shooting contest.

“They totally bought in and had a good time,” Christie concluded. “It was a lot of fun.”


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