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Royal Ivey set to return to Hollis for annual summer clinic

Royal Ivey (c.) celebrates with the Lady Panthers at last year's annual basketball clinic.
TimesLedger Newspapers

ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith and city Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott are slated to help NBA player Royal Ivey teach children basketball moves during his annual summer clinic in Hollis, organizers said.

For the sixth year in a row, Ivey plans to return to his hometown neighborhood this weekend for three days of hoops and life lessons, which are usually capped off with a wild dance contest.

“Through the Skills Clinic, I hope youth in my community will reflect on basketball as it pertains to life — how goal-setting, discipline and character lead to success both on and off the court,” said Ivey, the 6-foot-4, 200-pound guard for the Philadelphia 76ers. “I’ve been fortunate to live my dream for almost a decade in the NBA, but you don’t have to be a professional athlete to achieve success. You can be a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant or anything you want to be.”

After graduating from Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside, where he was admitted into the performing dance program, Ivey made his way to the University of Texas, where he took the Longhorns to four NCAA Tournaments, making it to the Final Four in 2003. From there he was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 37th pick in the 2004 NBA draft, going as far as the finals in 2012 with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

But the hometown athlete has made a point of setting and reaching goals outside professional sports as well.

During the 2011 NBA lockout, he returned to the University of Texas to finish his studies and get his degree in applied learning and development.

And with the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech coming up Aug. 28, Ivey is focused on highlighting the historic civil rights moment as a theme for this year’s camp.

The three-day clinic will be held at the Hollis Playground on Hollis Avenue between 204th Street and Run DMC/Jam Master Jay Way between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Aug. 22 and 23 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 24.

In addition to the on-court fundamentals, youngsters will also learn about career guidance, nutrition advice, financial literacy and study strategies. Parenting seminars will also be held to encourage families to get involved.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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