Wizards work magic with kidsRenaldo Major has been with the Dakota Wizards for three seasons. He’s been involved with several of the NBA Development League team’s youth camps.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Renaldo Major has been with the Dakota Wizards for three seasons.
He’s been involved with several of the NBA Development League team’s youth camps.
Still, the forward out of Fresno State can’t help but smile as he’s shows children the proper way to pass a basketball.
“Anything to come in and show the kids the skills of basketball, the fundamentals, it always puts a smile on their face,” said Major, a Chicago native. “They always get joy out of it. But they don’t know that we get more joy out of it too, just to be out there and relating to them and letting them know that, yeah, we play for the Wizards, but we’re normal guys and we play basketball. We love teaching and we love putting smiles on faces.”
Major joined Wizards players Jimmy Binnie, Marcus Dove, Cheyne Gadson and assistant coach and former player Kevin Rice on Saturday as they hosted one of their six yearly free youth camps at the West River Community Center.
More than 70 kids ages 6 to 16 attended the camp, packing the two gymnasium floors at the WRCC. Each child received a free ticket to the team’s Feb. 10 game against the Bakersfield Jam.
“It’s important for us to reach the outside communities because, really, it’s fortunate for North Dakota to have a professional team,” Rice said. “We’re not in the NBA, but we’re close to it.”
The players and coach taught fundamentals of the game during the 1-hour session.
Rice said he feels it is important to teach young kids proper techniques now and to help them start using their opposite hand as early as possible.
“The young kids, if they’re right-handed, they’re pretty much going to go to the right side,” Rice said. “So we try to teach the basics of how to have a balanced attack. As far as using your right hand during drills, you do the same thing with the left hand.”
The Wizards typically come to Dickinson once a year to hold the camp and both Rice and Major said it not only gives the team an opportunity to reach out to surrounding communities, but also do something that they love — teaching the game.
“It’s fun because back when I was a kid, you know, we rarely had things like this as far as camps,” said Rice, a San Antonio, Texas, native. “It’s fun for me to see the kids that really want to do it, and are taking it seriously, how much they improve.”