MULLINS, S.C. - Latta native and New York Knicks guard Raymond Felton took a break from training up in New York and Raleigh to make a return trip home this week, and to teach the game of basketball back in the Pee Dee area - where he got his start.
"This is where it all started for me. Latta High School has been great to me, and so has coach (Mark) Gerald here at Mullins," Felton told WMBF Sports on Thursday.
Gerald coached Felton during his AAU days in high school, and the two helped hold their annual weeklong camp this week at Mullins High School. He has come back to help young basketball talent in the Pee Dee ever since he entered the NBA in 2005. Campers between the ages of six and 16 got to learn from the eight-year pro veteran, but this week, he has been the first one to point out that having good talent on the court doesn't mean you'll be an automatic success.
"With these kids these days, their attention span is short," Felton said. "So the biggest thing I want to teach isn't necessarily about basketball, it's about respect and discipline. It's something I've really tried to emphasize this year."
"We work out the kids here, but the former players come back," said coach Gerald. "The ones that have gone to college, played professionally in Europe, those places, they all come back and they help the younger kids."
This year drew more than 140 campers; the most ever in the camp's history.