Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Writer
NEW ORLEANS ― Hornets coach Monty Williams doesn’t have many more “firsts” before he closes the book on his initial coaching campaign in New Orleans.
But one he might enjoy more than others begins June 13 – the first-ever Monty Williams Hornets Basketball Camp.
It’ll take place June 13-17 from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and is slated to host boys and girls ages 7-16.
Williams hopes it’s as successful as his first season at the helm.
Despite massive roster changes, an entirely new coaching staff and a first-year general manager in Dell Demps, the Hornets earned a postseason spot in the Western Conference playoffs. They fell to the two-time defending champion Lakers 4-2 in a series most expected to be a sweep.
New Orleans finished 46-36, a nine-game improvement from the 2009-2010 season.
The camp, though, is his chance to give back to the community.
“I’ll be there every day,” Williams said. “We’ll teach kids how to play. Talk to them about life lessons. A lot of hands on. I’ve been to camps before where the celebrity or the person putting on the camp wasn’t there or they flew in and left and everyone else was running the camp. I’ll be there all week. I’ll have my family.
“We’ll have a few players stop by for instruction, to shake hands and autographs and things like that. We want it to be a community time. That’s what we’re about and it’ll give me a chance to get to know some people.”
But Williams won’t make the camp all about basketball. To him, it’s about more than just the game.
“I like to talk to kids about listening to their parents, making sure the respect their elders,” Williams said. “Those things to me are more important than basketball. Basketball is the bait and you get a chance to talk about other things.”
For more information, people can go to hornets.com or www.thebasketballacademy.com.