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NBA star Tobias Harris brings 'life skills' camp to New Cassel community center

Orlando Magic forward Tobias Harris (12) celebrates their

Orlando Magic forward Tobias Harris (12) celebrates their 20 point first half come back during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, March 8, 2015. Magic won 103-98. (AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.) Photo Credit: AP / Willie J. Allen, Jr.

North Hempstead's young residents can learn the game of life through special summer basketball clinics being offered by NBA star and Long Island native Tobias Harris in cooperation with the Town of North Hempstead.

Participants will be taught the fundamentals of basketball and will also receive instruction in "life skills." The $50-per-week clinic will be offered from Aug. 17 to 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Yes We Can Community Center in New Cassel. Middle school and high school-age town residents are eligible.

"I am very excited to be offering this wonderful program to our town's youngsters this summer because it gives participants the opportunity to hone their physical and interpersonal skills," Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said in a news release. "I really love the message of encouraging young people to stay on the right path in life. When that message comes from a role model like Tobias Harris, it means so much."

The program -- the Tobias Harris School of Business Basketball Clinic -- offers youth coaching in basketball, but also educational, career and interpersonal skills workshops. Campers will work on their basketball skills such as shooting drills, ball handling and defense, but they also will be coached on good health, yoga, nutrition, the food pyramid and career assessment.

Harris said in the news release that the goal is to make sure campers learn more than just basketball. Harris said he is "just trying to have the kids take care of business, work hard, have fun, go to class, do the right things, stay on the right path."

The Half Hollow Hills High School West grad had just completed his first year at the University of Tennessee when he was chosen by the Charlotte Bobcats as the 19th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. He later played for the Milwaukee Bucks, then was traded to the Orlando Magic.

"I can't imagine a better investment in a child's summer than to spend a week at this clinic," Councilwoman Viviana Russell said. "I hope that our residents will jump at the chance."

The Yes We Can Community Center is at 144 Garden St. To register, call 311 within the Town of North Hempstead.

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