Cory Jefferson held his second annual basketball camp Saturday at Killeen High School, and the former Kangaroos star was pleased to see the smiling faces of the kids who participated.
“As long as everybody is out there smiling, the camp is going pretty well,” Jefferson said. “If they’re also able to learn something and take something away from it and use it later, that’s a bonus.”
Jefferson, who has spent time in the NBA with the Brooklyn Nets and Phoenix Suns after being drafted in the second round by the San Antonio Spurs in 2014, is currently with the Northern Arizona Suns of the NBA Developmental League.
The 6-foot-9, 218-pound power forward played collegiately for Baylor from 2009-10 to 2013-14, where he averaged 8.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.
In high school, Jefferson helped lead Killeen to three straight 30-win seasons from 2006-07 to 2008-09. As a senior, he averaged 19.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
Saturday’s camp was held for kids aged 7-17. It was free and open to the public, and over 100 kids participated.
Jefferson felt it was important to give back and show his appreciation to the Killeen community.
“It also gives them something extra to do,” Jefferson said. “Maybe, from here, they’ll learn that, ‘OK — I like basketball. It’s something I can see myself doing, and I can maybe move forward with that.’”
Jefferson got a late start to his basketball career. He did not begin playing until middle school, but he would have started sooner had he been able to participate in a camp like the one he hosted Saturday.
“I definitely would have started earlier,” Jefferson said. “I was one of the ones that started later than most players. If I would’ve had something like this growing up, then it probably would’ve helped me out in getting me going earlier.”
Jefferson intends to continue holding the free camp in Killeen annually.
Jefferson said he was heading back to Dallas, where he trains in the offseason, at the conclusion of the camp Saturday.
Regarding his career, the former Roo felt it was going well.
“I feel like it’ll be even better from here,” Jefferson said. “I feel very positive about everything that is going on right now, but you never stop working. You’ve always got to get better.
“Right now, it’s a lot of training for me. I’m training three times a day for five days a week.”
Jefferson will also be watching the 2016 Rio Olympics and, not surprisingly, he predicted big things for the U.S. men’s national team.
“We’re bringing home the gold,” he said with a smile.