OKLAHOMA CITY - Dozens of kids got a special treat on Sunday when they learned the finer points of basketball from Oklahoma City Thunder star, Enes Kanter.
Kanter hosted the free youth basketball camp at the Santa Fe Family Life Center as a way to give back to the community and fans.
“Those kids are idolizing me, and they look up to you and everything. So every step you take, you need to be careful because they’re watching you,” said the Thunder center.
Kanter says teaching kids about basketball is not all dribbling and shooting hoops.
“I’m trying to teach them that one thing. It doesn’t matter tall or short, girl, boy, black, white, this, whatever. We need to leave our differences on the table and try to find what we have in common,” said Kanter.
Kanter says he emphasizes teamwork and supporting each other.
This is his first time to host the camp at the Santa Fe Family Life Center, a non-profit health and wellness center that serves people with disabilities and disadvantaged youth.
“It’s wonderful for the kids in the community, a way to be active and to get to enjoy it with someone they watch on TV with the Thunder. It’s a neat experience for them to interact with him, get to shake his hand,” said Santa Fe Family Life Center Executive Director James Timberlake.
The kids all got an autograph as well, some getting their basketballs signed, others their shoes.
Kanter says Thunder fans have been so good to the team that he wants to give back.
And he tells the kids that playing in the NBA is only part of the equation.
“Playing basketball is cool and whatever but without giving back to community, playing basketball in the NBA is nothing,” said Kanter.