Taurean Prince Hosts First Annual Basketball Camp

Hawks Forward Taurean Prince interacting with the
children at South Atlanta High School

I took time to attend the first of what I hope will be years and years of Taurean Prince basketball camps in south Atlanta over the weekend. To have an NBA player  and his family -nearly his entire immediate family were there helping- put on a camp for free is worth a Saturday afternoon. I learned a lot about Prince, who had a solid rookie season last year but an even better playoffs, and more about his father, step-mother, sister, wife and newborn daughter. 

The announcer took a moment to let the kids in attendance at the first annual Taurean Prince Basketball Camp know about the guest of honor, the man with his image on the cool white and black Adidas camp t-shirts they were wearing, was right behind the double doors. Prince, originally from San Marcos, Texas and a graduate of Earl Warren High School in San Antonio, walked through the doors to a big cheer from both campers and their parents that attended the camp on Saturday morning at South Atlanta High School. 

On the other sides of those doors from where Prince entered was the family and friends that have supported him through his rookie season as an Atlanta Hawk after a stellar career at Baylor University. His father, Anthony Prince, step-mother Cayonna Morgan, sister Concordia Prince, wife Hanah Prince and their six and a half week old daughter Ameera were all behind the scenes making things happen. “She’s who makes everything go,” said Anthony of his daughter-in-law Hanah. “I think it’s pretty cool to see all of the kids here enjoying themselves,” says Prince’s wife of seven months. “We just believe giving back in general is a good idea.” 

The Prince family, led by his mother Tamiyko Prince, will be hosting the southwest version of this camp on Saturday, August 12 in Texas and this is just the beginning according to Anthony. Taurean’s well-reported road to the NBA is an example of what can happen when a kid doesn’t veer off the path and sticks with his or her gifts. Prince made it to the highest level of basketball on Earth but still gives back to kids with his camp. “It’s more about affecting kids and giving them a positive outlook,” says Prince who admitted that as a young person he didn’t have the opportunity to attend free camps like this, especially ones attended by local NBA talents. “It’s good to be able to give back to kids who needed this like I did when I was a kid.”

The NBA player, Atlanta Hawks starting forward is the player that the kids came to see but that night and day to the Taurean that constantly was seen kissing and hugging his wife and daughter and showing respect to the camp staff and media in attendance. “This is something that we have always done and to have Taurean be able to do it here in Atlanta is awesome,” says Anthony. “For us it started at home.” 

“It’s wonderful to have a celebrity, big time basketball player like Taurean giving back and he’s not even from here,” says South Atlanta High School long time basketball coach and athletic director Michael Reddick. “For the kids that don’t get a chance to see him in person [at Philips Arena] this is a wonderful opportunity.” Three of Reddick’s players and a few incoming freshmen ball players were in attending camp. “The kids are excited, I could have had 80 more kids here.”

“I feel like it’s great for Taurean to be able to do this,” says Concordia. “Kids are the base of everything so it’s nothing for him and the rest of us to be here.” 

This weekend Taurean hosted his 1st annual Taurean Prince Youth Basketball Camp. The camp was free to the first 75 campers. They did drills and games and had a lot of hands on time with Taurean! (Kat Goduco Photography)

The campers stretched, went through passing, shooting and defensive drills before Prince and the camp staffers posed for pictures and awarded top performers with gifts like signed t-shirts, towels and basketballs. The campers, about 80 in number, were all smiles as they posed for a group picture with Prince at half court. The campers left the camp with not only skill development and memories but each received a backpack filled with swag from the campo including t-shirts and school supplies.

What Prince needed as a kid he now is giving to kids in Atlanta. Heading into his second season with the Hawks Prince’s role will be expanded with the recent free agent defection and trade of veterans Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard, despite the increased responsibilities of a new offensive and defensive role (not to mention fatherhood) Prince and his family plan to continue offering their free summer basketball camp in the future. “Definitely,” says Prince when asked if the camp will be back in Atlanta next summer. “I want to continue doing this and continue showing kids that hard work and integrity can take them a long way. It means alot to represent the Hawks like this in the city.”

This weekend Taurean hosted his 1st annual Taurean Prince Youth Basketball Camp. The camp was free to the first 75 campers. They did drills and games and had a lot of hands on time with Taurean! (Kat Goduco Photography)

NBA player gives back, not in front of a national television audience or because a national or international shoe brand requested his appearance, but because he remembers when he was a kid and didn’t get a chance to see professional players up close. Imagine that.

Donnell Suggs: @suggswriter

Leave a Reply