FOCUSED ON THE GIVE BACK: TYRESE RICE & DEL HARRIS BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR RVA’S YOUTH

IMG_3215At L.C Bird, Tyrese Rice scored 2,328 points in his Virginia High School career

“Basketball doesn’t make me who I am. I want people to remember my work for camps like this and the person I am to my family, friends and these kids.” – Tyrese Rice

Words and Photos by Cheats @TheCheatsMovement

Earlier this week I took a quick trip over to Meadowbrook High school to visit the Tyrese Rice Summer Basketball Camp. The four-day camp was led by Rice, Coach Del Harris, and a number of former Richmond region basketball stars such as: Brad and Jordan Burgess and Jay and Jarvis Threatt.

Speaking with Coach Harris, I got the sense that the true goal of the camp was not just about being better basketball players but rather teaching today’s youth important life lesson that they can use to be successful beyond the court.

“This camp is something that Tyrese has wanted to do for along time. He’s the star, I’m just the guy behind the scenes but we are big on community, teaching the fundamentals, and having kids develop on and off the court,” said Harris.  Rice echoed his former youth coach by saying, “Our goal is just to help kids in our community…We’re looking at the big picture. We want to teach kids about basketball but more importantly teach them skills that will help them navigate their daily lives.”

Last week ended the second of two camps Rice and Harris conducted this summer at Meadowbrook High School. The camps were filled with basketball instruction, open scrimmages, and guest speakers including current NBA players like: Jared Dudley (Wizards), Ed Davis (Trailblazers), and Reggie Williams (Spurs).

IMG_3164Rice, Harris and Reggie Williams (Spurs) – Williams was one of several guest speakers for the youth.

This year’s summer camps will serve as a launching point for a longer-term venture between Harris, Rice, and the RVA community as they will continue to serve through the Del Harris Basketball Academy. “After the camp, the Academy will continue with weekend clinics and individual skill development throughout the year,” said Harris; a highly accomplished youth, high school, and college coach with long-standing roots in the Richmond region.

I’d be remiss to conclude this post without mentioning Tyrese’s success on the court. He is the reigning Euro Cup MVP and Euro Cup Finals MVP. His has successfully played professionally in Greece, Lithuania, Germany, Israel, and now Russia. Even with all the success, I get the impression that Rice is comfortable being known for success outside of hoops. “I’ve gained a lot from of basketball but basketball doesn’t make me who I am. I want people to remember my work for camps like this and the person I am to my family, friends and these kids.”

IMG_3168Brad and Jordan Burgess – Rice – Jarvis and Jay Threatt “Our staff is amazing. All former, local, guys – 8 division one players that are giving back to the community. The staff is all good friends and positive people in the community” Del Harris

I asked both Rice and Harris the advice they would pass down to those following in their footsteps. Harris answered, “You have to be patience and you have to be real with our youth. Kids today want to hear the truth. They want someone to believe in them. Constructive – tough love is what you have to do sometimes. Tyrese and I have such a great relationship because we keep it honest. All of my relationships with youth – former players – etc. – is because I keep it authentic and they appreciate that.”

Rice said, “Believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself to do the positive thing –  the right thing – than you can do it.
I’ve made mistakes but you have to learn from them. It’s not always going to be perfect. Learn from those mistakes and don’t make them over and over again.”

IMG_3170Coach Harris talks to the campers ages 7-16.

You can learn more about the Del Harris Basketball Academy at: http://www.delharrisbasketballacademy.com/home.html

Follow on twitter Cheats @CheatsMovemet

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