Fitness is crucial for young athletes, and the NBA’s newest stars emphasized that to 100 Harlem kids at a pre-draft basketball clinic sponsored by NBA FIT.
Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Bradley Beal were joined by other NBA Draft lottery selections as they showed off their skills to kids at the Denlevy Milbank Boys & Girls Club in New York City. The future stars demonstrated how to warm up properly, went through skill and agility drills, and even answered kids’ questions about the draft, getting good grades, and eating right.
SI Kids was on hand to ask a few questions of our own. Here’s what the rookies had to say…
SI KIDS: How important is it to eat healthy at an early age?
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards: Nutrition is great, and it would be good for these kids to start early so they don’t have to worry about it later on down the line. Always eat your vegetables, like your parents say, even though kids don’t like, because at the end of the day, it’s going to pay off.
Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors: I had a really good strength coach who taught me the importance about what you eat is how you perform. I mean, if you eat terrible, then that’s how you’re going to perform.
SIK: Is community service going to become a bigger part of your life now that you’re in the NBA?
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons: This is just another thing on my list. I’ve done community projects since high school. I started my own clothing drive while I was in high school, and I still continue to do that to this day. I’ve done my own basketball camp, and I do a family day for people in my town. This community stuff is second nature to me.
SIK: What’s it going to mean to you to be a role model to all these kids not only at the college level, but now as an NBA player?
Meyers Leonard, Portland Trail Blazers: It’s an unbelievable feeling. It’s important to be a good person and care about kids, care about the community, and always give back. I know what I came from – and it wasn’t much – so whenever these kids have a chance to come out here and have a good time and experience this [it’s great]. I always enjoy being around little kids.
SIK: If you could give all of these kids one piece of advice, what would it be?
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets: Hard work. Hard work pays off. Some guys were going through the motions and I was telling them ‘do it like you were doing it for real!’ You’ve got to keep working hard.