Iwundu Teaches Basketball Drills and Life Skills at Camp For Local Youth

by Dan Savage

ORLANDO - As a self-made player, who fought his way onto the Magic’s roster as a second-round pick with no contractual guarantees, Wes Iwundu knows all about the importance of hard work and dedication.

Now, he’s attempting to deliver that message to the youth of Central Florida.

Iwundu hosted a free basketball camp for 150 children between the ages of six and 17 at the Frontline Outreach Center in Orlando on Saturday.

“My message is to just keep working,” Iwundu said. “There may be a few of them who are tired, who have their hands on their knees, it’s just about never giving up and obtaining your goals.”

Along with receiving basketball instruction from Iwundu, teammate Khem Birch, Magic Community Ambassador Nick Anderson and other local community coaches, children received backpacks courtesy of Under Armour, school supplies, basketballs and sunglasses from the Magic, as well as pizza.

“It means a lot, because when (I was growing up), I remember going to an NBA player’s camp,” Iwundu explained. “And for me to be out here teaching them some skills, teaching them things I’ve learned since I’ve been playing basketball, it’s a great feeling to be out here impacting young kids’ lives.”

Iwundu took the children through a series of dribbling, passing and shooting drills, while stopping to take photos and sign autographs for a number of the kids.

“We were excited, because we’ve never had a clinic here with an Orlando Magic player,” said Frontline Outreach Director Dwight Mitchell. “We invited all the kids from this community and surrounding areas, those who’ve never had a chance to meet an NBA player like Wes Iwundu.”

Birch, who re-signed with the Magic last week, gave an assist to his teammate by helping with the instruction.

“It’s a great experience,” said Birch, who was donning an Iwundu t-shirt. “I just wanted to come out here and show support.”

Youth basketball clinics had a big impact on Birch’s life as well. He recalls going to a number of them in Montreal led by local star athletes. In less than a week, Birch will do his own camp tour throughout his native country, hoping to lead the next generation of Canadian basketball standouts.

“I came here to steal his ideas,” Birch said with a laugh. “I like his DJ idea, so I might steal that.”

It was a good move by Birch, because Iwundu’s camp left a lasting impression that the children won’t forget anytime soon.

“Today is an awesome day, we’re excited,” Mitchell said. “For a lifetime, kids will be able to look back at this day, and I was able to (work with) an NBA ball player.”

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