Former Muir High standout Ryan Hollins. Staff photo by Sarah Reingewirtz
By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
PASADENA – Ryan Hollins, a former Muir High School basketball standout who now plays in the NBA, can remember how attending a youth basketball camp got him on the road to success.
Now it’s his turn to give back, and he did it with the third Ryan Hollins Skills Basketball Camp, which concluded a three-day session at Muir High School on Wednesday.
“I can remember attending Stacey Augmon’s camp,” Hollins recalled. “I hit a point after my rookie year (in the NBA) that I wanted to start giving back to the community. I don’t think I (really knew) what it was about, but after doing my first (camp) I really developed the love for it, and giving back.
“I’ve always been good about speaking to kids. The camp just manifested my way in giving back to the community and coming back and working. I really invest my time and interest into it. I come here and work my camp. My high school coach comes back, the community comes back, former Muir players. We really come back and give to these kids.”
The three-day camp, which began Monday, instructed young players from ages 8-18 on a variety of skills, but also included topics outside of basketball, including cooperation, teamwork, goal-setting and moral values.
Instructors included former Muir players and coaches and some former Hollins’ camp attendees. The idea for the clinic, which also features some motivational speeches, is to provide youngsters with skills beyond basketball.
“The kids love it,” Hollins said. “My goal is to make it a reality for them. Not everyone is going to play in the NBA, everybody isn’t going to have a perfect life, but if you take care of your school work, things can work out.
“I like to relate it to basketball. You’re going to have shortcomings, do some great stuff, some tough stuff. You’re going to have to do some things you don’t really want to do. But that’s life. That’s what we try to show these kids. We teach them a lot of power drills, a lot of effort, and have everyone really come together as one.”
Hollins’ career has matched what he was trying to teach Wednesday. He was a star player for Muir before becoming a role player and helping UCLA reach the first of three consecutive Final Fours in 2006.
The 27-year-old was then selected in the second round of the 2006 NBA draft, spending the past eight seasons playing for Charlotte, Dallas, Minnesota, Cleveland and Boston.
Now, he’s come home, recently signing with the Clippers.
“It’s an amazing opportunity,” Hollins said. “It’s amazing to come home. But you can’t forget there are a lot of distractions and things when you come home.
“But I’ve stuck to the game plan, and I think this is going to be an amazing season for myself and the Clippers. We want to keep building and win a championship.”
He also wants to make the Ryan Hollins Skills Camp a success for the community he grew up in.
“I want this camp to be huge,” Hollins said. “I want to reach for the stars. I’m not out here to baby-sit these kids. I want kids who are here to work. I’m here to teach them, and I want them to come away with lessons learned and have a lot of fun. It’s not easy. We’re doing NBA drills, we’re doing college drills.
“I want these kids to be prepared to go to college, even if it’s not through athletics. They will understand the hard work and commitment it takes to get there.”