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Trail Blazers Participate In 'Coaches For Kids'

12/29/09
  1. Written by: caseyholdahl

    For many of them, it may have been a few minutes past bedtime, but about 100 kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Santiam, Thurston County and Albany were nevertheless wide awake on Monday night at the Rose Garden.
     
    The group had just watched the Trail Blazers play the 76ers, and were being treated to a quick post-game meet and greet courtside with most of the Trail Blazers coaching staff … and surprise guest Rudy Fernandez.
     
    Rudy drew a few screams, but the crowd quieted down for a few words of encouragement from Trail Blazers Vice President of Basketball Operations Tom Penn, Head Coach Nate McMillan and several members of the coaching staff, who answered questions about their paths to the NBA, the team’s recent spate of injuries, and simply ‘are you going to win the next game?’ and ‘when is it?’.
     
    “Several of us, myself included, have grown up with programs like the Boys and Girls Clubs” said Trail Blazers shooting coach John Townsend, “so we enjoy the opportunity to expose these kids to our environment, tell our stories and let them know we can relate to where they are in life.”
     
    Blazers assistant coach Monty Williams told the kids they were experiencing something he never had; a chance to watch an NBA game. Williams said he never saw NBA basketball until he began his 10-year career.
     
    The kids were in attendance as beneficiaries of the NBA’s “Coaches for Kids” program, a league-wide program funded by NBA general managers, basketball staffs, coaches and athletic trainers that provided more than 30,000 kids a chance to attend an NBA game last season.
     
    Across Oregon and Southwest Washington, about 1,000 kids from Boys & Girls clubs will attend a Trail Blazers game this season through the Coaches for Kids program.

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