SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Utah Jazz guards Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton helped teach some 1,500 school kids basketball skills in the largest Jr. NBA Day ever.
The event at the Salt Palace brought in kids from all over the state to learn from current and former NBA players like Joakim Noah and Jason Terry.
The players seemed to enjoy the event as much as the kids.
“Everybody is here having a great time and a great experience,” said Clarkson, who took part in Junior NBA Day when he was a kid. “It’s amazing. I love coming to do this stuff. I was in the same position as them when I was younger. It gives you inspiration.”
“This is what I dreamed about growing up,” said Jazz guard Collin Sexton, who will team up with Clarkson and Walker Kessler in the NBA Skills Challenge Saturday night. “Something I’ve always wanted to do is give back to the next generation of athletes and students. Anything I can give them as far as an encouraging word is something I want to do today.”
“Man, this is super awesome,” said Terry, a 19-year NBA veteran and current Jazz assistant coach. “This is my third junior NBA event over All-Star weekend, and I’m having a great time. To bring the community of Salt Lake City together, to celebrate All-Star weekend, it’s just awesome.”
A variety of clinics took place throughout the day, focusing on teaching fundamentals skills and core values of the game.
Sexton says he will be healthy enough to compete in the Skills Challenge after tweaking his hamstring in the Jazz loss to Memphis Wednesday night.
“Oh yeah, I’ll be able to do the Skills Competition,” Sexton said. “We’re trying to win it.”
Sexton and Clarkson are expecting big things from rookie Walker Kessler in the Rising Stars Challenge Friday night.
“I’m going to say a triple-double,” Clarkson said. “I need him to get ten blocks, he needs to protect the rim and play hard.”
“I told him I need to see a couple 3’s and some dunks,” Sexton said. “I told him he needs to bring the ball up and have fun. That’s what this is for.”