MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. Former NBA players Scooter and Rodney McCray spoke to varsity players and others at Mount Vernon s basketball camp Thursday about the importance of education and basketball in their lives and provided insight on how to use basketball to get into college.
The brothers spoke for several minutes each in the high school gym. Basketball can be a tool to help athletes pay for college, younger brother Scooter said. But he emphasized that education is what makes basketball worthwhile and useful.
You try to stress that its important to do the off-court stuff and the basketball stuff will take care of itself, McCray said. What good is it if youre a good basketball player but you cant get into college in order to show what you can do?
McCray said he and his brother have a chance to give their message to the current players because they made it to college and the NBA. And the younger generation can learn from that experience, he said.
If the players took away one message from his speech, he wanted it to be pride, older brother Rodney said. It means something to this community to be a part of the Mount Vernon Knights basketball team, he said. Dont take it for granted.
The McCrays, who were teammates at Mount Vernon and at Louisville, told the crowd that they still follow the Knights. The current Knights should be proud of their accomplishments because it puts them in a fraternity, Rodney said.
When you do win, youre in a select group, McCray said. Then we come back and say, OK, which team were you a part of? Now we can chastise and ride each other and joke on each other about whose team was the better team because its all one big family now and theres just so many fond memories and so many things to share. And thats real special.
Mount Vernon coach Bob Cimmino made sure his varsity players sat up front for the speeches. Their message this year was the best of all the talks they have given over the years, he said.
They were a live history lesson for my players, Cimmino said. They just spoke with such pride and passion about Mount Vernon basketball. I think they had a nice little story how basketball is the tool to lead to a very successful life.
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