Hawaii athletes hoop it up with NBA pros

Jacob Pregana
Jacob Pregana
Keel Pingree
Keel Pingree
Channing Frye
Channing Frye
Dickson Wong
Dickson Wong

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - While many were focused on the NBA finals, some young island basketball fans hit the court with pro players.

They learned a little more about the game of basketball and even more importantly got some lessons on life.

Dozens of kids spend their summer at the boys and girls club sharpening their basketball skills. These same young players got a big boost to their game as Portland Trailblazer's Channing Frye and Steve Blake stopped in to share their knowledge.

"They taught us do agility things like - the shooter c," said basketball camp participant, Jacob Pregana.

"I learned how to shoot better and roll off screens," added Kelpin Gree.

The pros also shared their love of the sport.

"Basketball is fun for me, I've been playing since I was in second grade and I would go to camps like these," said Portland Forward, Channing Frye.

The pros have played around the world, against all kinds of opponents and they liked the intensity of the island athletes.

"Its fun, they love basketball, they work hard and that's all you can ask for at camp," said Frye.

But the pro players provided more than just tips on the court, they also offered encouragement for everything kids do -- outside of basketball.

"They tell us to always persevere and make sacrifices to get what you need in life. They also tell us to always try your best. It was kind of inspiring" said Gree.

It goes without saying, the young athletes look up to these NBA players.

"The kids are always looking for adult mentors, we are here but when they see other adults stepping up, it makes an impact. They get to see that the community cares for one another," said Dickson Wong, the athletics director for the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii.

After the hard work of drills and dribbling was over, the players posed for pictures and signed autographs.

The NBA players taught the kids a lot during their time at the gym, and the pros even learned a little while they were here in Hawaii.

"I learned a whole lot of Hawaiian foods, Hawaiian words. Its a different culture, you have to appreciate it, its one of the best places on earth," said Frye.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Hawaii provide character development programs six days a week for children 7-17 years old. And along with sports they also have arts and career development, all for an annual membership fee of just one dollar.