Grit and Grind Tony Allen Basketball Camp - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

Grit and Grind Tony Allen Basketball Camp

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Darcy Thomas / FOX13 News Darcy Thomas / FOX13 News
EAST MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Tony Allen is known for his ball handling skills and his infectious personality on and off the basketball court.

What many may not know is his love for giving back to children.

"When he was a little boy, he didn't have a lot of the opportunities to do these types of things and go to different types of camps, so he do this as a way of giving back," said Ella Allen, Tony's mother.

Ella says for the last six years her son has held a free basketball camp for kids. Ten-year-old Sequoia Allmond has participated in the camp.

"I get to learn more on my games and get better, I get to hang out with Tony Allen," Sequoia said. "He teaches me on different things, we get along, they teach us more here and help us with the game of basketball."

Coach James Harvey, Jr., says Tony likes the kids to learn about discipline and skill, while always having fun.

"When he comes in here, my whistle doesn't mean anything," Harvey said. "They go berserk, but that's what they should do when Tony comes in and we're in the middle of a drill. We may just stop the drill and just take pictures and let them play one on one or have a shooting contest against Tony."

The kids focus on various skills including ball handling, footwork, teamwork and being respectful, but most are just excited about one thing.

"I want to participate because I want to see Tony Allen and improve on my game,'" said Gavin Foyle, 16.

Several parents agree, it's not just about the camp or that it's free.

"I think the Memphis community so appreciates this," said parent Deborah Foyle. "Our family are Grizzlies fans. We're here to support Tony and the Grizzlies. It's nice that they give back too."

The fact that it's kind of cool to see an NBA superstar, who remembers what it's like to be a child, who loves the game of basketball.

"Tony is a big kid at heart himself," Ella Allen said. "He's a big kid, he loves the kids. We can be somewhere he will leave us adults and be with the kids."

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