Detroit Pistons guard Will Bynum, a Chicago native who made a name for himself while playing at Crane High School on the West side, held a three day basketball camp at Whitney Young High School this week for some of the best young talent this city has to offer.
In partnership with his shoe company, Above The Rim, the Norm Van Lier Foundation and 2nd Ward Alderman Robert Fioretti, the invite-only camp allowed Bynum to work one-on-one with the kids to not only help them improve their games, but to offer them leadership and life skills as well.
“Not only am I giving back to the community, but what I’m also giving back is knowledge and the values that it takes to be successful in whatever you’re trying to do,” Bynum told NBC Chicago.
“A lot of these kids, they don’t understand that everything is a craft and they don’t know the steps that it takes for them to become whatever it is they want to become. So I’m just trying to instill my personal values inside of them, the ones that helped me to get to where I am today.”
Alderman Fioretti also echoed Bynum’s strong value system as well as praised him for it.
“Will [Bynum] is a good role model for our community. He stands up and he really teaches our kids that are in the high schools good family values, community values, and when you succeed, to always give back. That’s what he’s about and I’m happy to be here supporting him.”
But the camp wasn’t only about basketball as each day focused on different life components such as proper etiquette, public speaking and the importance of a balanced diet.
Additionally, each camper was asked to sign a non-violence pledge presented to them by the Norm Van Lier Foundation and were taken through Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s anti-bullying initiative.
But the main theme of Bynum’s camp was to stress upon the kids the key component to being successful in any endeavor of life, not just sports.
“I let them know that everybody won’t make it [to the NBA],” said Bynum. “There’s a lot of different avenues to make yourself successful in life besides basketball. But whatever it is, I want these kids to know that it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get there.”