Anthony Davis on Friday returned home to Chicago to surprise attendees of his youth basketball camp at Kenwood Academy High School.
Davis kicked off his third annual Nike Rise Camp by showing up unannounced to the high school located on Chicago’s south side. The young campers cheered him on as he entered the gym.
Before participating in drills with the kids, Davis shared his personal experiences with the campers and why basketball is important to him during the camp.
“Being from Chicago give you a different type of toughness,” Davis told the campers. “And you have to go out there and give it everything you have. When I play now, that’s still the style that I play.”
Through the day, Davis pulled out his phone and took selfies and videos of him with some of the children.
“It’s a connection,” Davis said. “A lot of these kids are from the same neighborhood that I’m from, and so to have someone come back and relate to, I think that has a huge impact on them. Like, ‘Oh, AD’s from Englewood? I’m from Englewood.’”
Davis autographed several shoes for campers who correctly answered trivia questions about the new Lakers center. He also surprised the winning team of a scrimmage courtside seats to Sunday’s Sky game against the Fever at Wintrust Arena.
Davis said he also plans to attend the WNBA game, too.
“I love watching basketball, my family is a basketball family and I thought it would be a cool thing for the kids to come in and watch the game of basketball as well from a different perspective — though obviously it’s not the NBA like they’re used to — I’m not even sure most of these kids have ever seen a WNBA game before,” Davis said. “But it’ll be a fun experience to sit courtside and watch these wonderful women go to work.
“All the women are there for a reason, they’re professional athletes. Anybody who can make it to the WNBA and the NBA is there for a reason. So I’m excited just to go out there and do their jobs.”