PRENTISS, Miss. (WJTV) — Al Jefferson, the 15th overall pick by the Celtics in 2004 out of Prentiss High School, is back in Mississippi this week hosting his 11th annual three-day basketball camp.
“Just to see a lot of them kids started off as little kids starting my camp, now to see them mature and grow up and become great players, the girls and the boys,” Jefferson said. “It’s amazing to watch and I feel like looking back now, it’s been over 10 years and I know it wasn’t a waste of time.”
In it’s 11th year, the camp is is still free and Jefferson still provides school supplies for the campers.
Not only do the kids get hands on training from the 15-year NBA star and they’re also coached by instructors from the National Basketball Academy.
He said the positive impact he has on the kids is what motivates him to keep putting on the camp every year.
“I’m a living witness that no matter where you at and where you from, if you got that talent, they’re going to find you. To be able to make it out of this small town and be able to give back and let the next kid know they can do the same thing no matter what it is. It doesn’t have to be NBA or NFL or whatever, it can be anything and just to let them know no matter where you’re from you can be whatever you want to be if you put your mind to it.”
And, after retiring from the NBA just a few months ago, Jefferson said he can’t walk away completely from the game just yet. He’s starting this season with the Triplets in the ‘Big3’ league.
“I didn’t think it was going to be as much fun, not saying that I had anything against it going into to. It just like when you’ve been playing on a professional level like I’ve been playing on, and a lot of them guys been playing on, you still have that itch and the ‘Big3’ is perfect for guys like us.”