Detroiter, NBA star Derrick Coleman gives local kids an assist

Derrick Coleman teaches basketball skills, more at camp

DETROIT – If you never saw Derrick Coleman play basketball, you missed a real treat.

Coleman was born in Alabama and moved to Detroit at a young age. He became a basketball star at Syracuse University and was drafted into the NBA, where he played 15 seasons before retiring in 2005.

With his NBA career over, he's still having a huge impact, both on and off the court, in the city he loves.

"My passion, my love has always been for my community and neighborhood," Coleman said.

Coleman collaborated with Focus: Hope, a Detroit nonprofit, on a sports camp at the Adams Butzel Complex on Lyndon Street. Nearly 150 children learn basketball skills, but it doesn't stop there. The camp has programs including arts, math, technology and more. 

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Coleman doesn't have to worry about his ego getting in the way --  most of the children involved don't even know he played in the NBA.

He's taught more than just basketball. He said the camp gives children three things: patience, structure and teaching them to continue to dream.

"They're dreamers," Coleman said. "We've got to teach them to keep continuing to dream."

For more information on Focus: Hope, visit the official website here.