San Francisco, California

Basketball Legend George "The Iceman" Gervin to Participate in SF Youth Basketball Clinic Finale

Basketball legend George “The Iceman” Gervin will join youth in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood on Saturday for the conclusion of a youth basketball clinic emphasizing education and health. The Shaping and Preparing Youth clinic began earlier this month and will conclude Saturday at the Joseph Lee Recreation Center at 1395 Mendell St.

“It has been an amazing experience to work with the young people of Bayview-Hunters Point,” the NBA Hall of Fame inductee said in a prepared statement. “I’ve learned so much from them and I hope I was able to help some stay on a smart track for their future.” The series of clinics and seminars, which aims to keep young people engaged in healthy activities over the summer, was presented by Shaping and Preparing Youth in conjunction with the San Francisco Housing Authority. Gervin, who played for the San Antonio Spurs, and Ronny Turiaf, of the New York Knicks, will take part in the final day celebration. Games take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and a meet-and-greet is scheduled from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Basketball Legend Reach Out to SF Bayview

Two legendary basketball players are holding a series of clinics for inner-city youth in San Francisco's Bayview-Hunters Point. Their appearances were an opportunity to inspire young people to succeed in life beyond sports. George Gervin is still as cool as his playing day's nickname, "The Iceman." He can even still shoot the lights out. Gervin was at the Joseph Lee Rec Center in Bayview Hunters Point giving back. "We as older men have a responsibility to teach younger men to be better men," Gervin said. That game is making it in life despite the challenges. Artis Gilmore at 7 feet 2 inches drives home that message. "They're dealing with drugs and gangs in the streets and environments where it's very difficult to grow up in," said Gilmore. "It brings tears to my eyes sometimes when I sit here and talk to these kids. I told the kids to raise their hands if they'd seen a dead body and everyone in the class raised their hand," lamented Tony Warren, who runs the program. Their main message is education is the ticket to success.

Walcoff: Gervin, Gilmore taking time out for city's youngsters

While a shady cast of characters hung out on Third Street on Tuesday morning, a block away inside the Joseph Lee Recreation Center at the Bayview-Hunters Point YMCA, about 100 kids were all smiles. George Gervin and Artis Gilmore were wowing the crowd with a basketball clinic and inspirational speeches about making good choices to reach your life goals. I doubt any of the youngsters had a clue who the Iceman or A-Train were, but Gervin’s personal story about being raised in Detroit, one of six children of a single mom who instilled the “morals, principles and values” that launched his Hall of Fame career, hit home. At his Gervin Academy charter school in San Antonio, Texas, George, 58, says he tells students, “You can do your one through 12 in the classroom, or you can do one to 12 in prison. Many inner-city kids living in broken homes are looking for love and get it in gangs. We must redirect kids. Get ’em on the right path and continue to remind them how important education is.” Gilmore, 68, who grew up in Dothan, Ala., during the days of Jim Crow laws says, “Although some things will never change, we are gaining knowledge and experience and the key for today’s kids is education.” The seminars are sponsored by a national development program called Shaping and Preparing Youth, which is working in conjunction with The City’s housing authority and police department to offer young people healthy summer activities. The free program is in its inaugural year in San Francisco and currently has openings for about 50 more kids. For more information, visit Gervin got his nickname in 1973 from Julius Erving when they were teammates with the ABA Virginia Squires because, “I wore a big hat, drove a Cadillac and acted cool,” says the Iceman himself. Gervin thinks the cool thing for LeBron James to do would be to re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Gervin sees Cleveland as only a couple of players away from winning a championship. “The grass isn’t always greener. If he goes to Chicago and things don’t go well, fans will say he’s not like Mike. He doesn’t understand that.” I know LeBron is being influenced by a cadre of corporate image makers, but tonight’s hourlong national TV spot “The Decision” is the epitome of self-indulgence, especially since the King has no ring and was flat out awful in his last playoff game against the Celtics. Stay home, work on some post-up moves and revisit your future plans in two or three years. The Fab Four The Yankee infield of Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira is not only the best in baseball, it may be the best of all time. A-Rod and Jeter are surefire Hall of Famers. Teixeira, 30, a two-time All Star and three-time Gold Glove winner, still has a decent chance to enhance his Cooperstown credentials, and the sky is the limit for two-time All Star Cano, 27. Teixeira is the only one of New York’s Fab Four (combined contracts: $700 million) not selected for next week’s Midsummer Classic in Anaheim. Remember the only team that had its entire infield start an All-Star Game? The 1963 St. Louis Cardinals with first baseman Bill White, second baseman Julian Javier, shortstop Dick Groat and third baseman Ken Boyer.

Basketball fills school's summer void in Bayview

SAN FRANCISCO — Paula Hatch has a love of working with youths in her Bayview neighborhood. That’s one of many reasons why she was at the Joseph Lee Recreation Center on Thursday afternoon giving pointers on dribbling and jump shots to nearly a dozen kids from the Bayview and Hunters Point communities. The afternoon camp is part of Stone Oaks Athletics Shaping Preparing Youth efforts to offer free team, instruction and developmental camps to inner-city youths. “I didn’t know all their names a few days ago,” Hatch, 24, said. “But I do now. I love working with kids.” SOA began offering day camps to youths on Monday and will continue every day at 9 a.m. through July 31. The camp comes as a result of the concerns police officers and government officials had when The City’s school district decided to cancel summer classes. “It’s really important for these kids — with their parents working — this camp is an opportunity to get exercise and play socially,” said San Francisco police Officer Leon Jackson. Jackson said even visiting the corner store on Third Street the kids have a lot of obstacles to get through. “It’s tough,” he said. “There’s a lot for them to get involved in.” In March, San Francisco Unified School District’s Board of Education voted to cancel summer school due to the impending budget deficit, which is looming around $113 million over the next two school years. The camp is designed to allow for instruction in the morning in math, English and computers, according to director Tony Warren. Warren said he started the camps in Baltimore first, following a similar camp he organized for affluent communities and wanted to offer the same opportunities to all youth. Ten-year-old Allyana Abeyta said without the camp, she would be sent to Detroit to be with her grandmother for the summer. “It gives me something to do,” she said. “I’m making friends.” While D’aarez Loggins said he would be at home playing games or at a skate park. “This is better,” the 10-year-old said.


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