Alvin Williams knows basketball has taken him a long way in his life. Williams was a terrific player at Germantown Academy and Villanova. He had a fine NBA career playing for the Toronto Raptors.
Williams wants to make a difference now for a lot of kids playing basketball in the city. That’s why he’s organized The Academy of Hoops, which will hold tour with several local and NBA players for student-athletes ages 11–18 beginning Saturday, July 28 at 9 a.m. They will be going to community recreation centers throughout the city giving the kids an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of basketball. They will also have a chance to interact with the kids.
“Basically, The Academy of Hoops is for the kids,” Williams said. “I wanted to do something positive in the community. I remember growing up and playing basketball in the Sonny Hill League. I played for John Hardnett. I saw how the game had a big impact on so many players.
“I wanted to do something for these kids around the city. Our tour is going to go to Mt. Airy, West Philly and South Philly. We’ll be able to reach a lot of players throughout the city. Right now, I’m going to have Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors) and Cuttino Mobley (former NBA standout) helping me out. I’ve been in touch with Augustin Woodlin, Jonathan Haynes, Jason Lawson and Brian Lee to help us out.”
Williams will stress more than just playing the game. He plans to give instruction, but talk about the various opportunities basketball can offer the kids. He also plans to remind the youngsters about the importance of giving back to their communities.
The kids will participate in basketball skills workshops and receive Reebok basketball apparel. Youngsters are required to register at the recreation centers to gain entrance to each of the sessions. They should contact the Department of Recreation at (215) 683-3674, or go to the following recreation centers directly for registration information: Mantua Recreation Center, Martin Luther King, Rivera Recreation Center and Mallery Recreation Center.
The tour not only gets kids involved with playing basketball, but also brings attention to the number of neighborhood recreation centers in the city.
“We have a lot of different venues,” Williams said. “We wanted to reach as many kids as we can.”