This week's local focus is largely on Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson and their cohorts, but Antonio Grant is offering kids the chance to develop their skills in the chosen sport of Kevin Durant, LeBron James, James Harden and their high-flying brethren.
Grant, whose personal background includes play for basketball teams in Russia, France, Croatia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Lebanon, China, Taiwan, Mexico and Jordan, has 25 kids hitting the court – the main gym, in this case – for basketball camp at Riverview Park Activities Center, from Monday through Thursday.
Grant, who played for both North Augusta High School and the University of South Carolina, said he hopes for campers to "come out and enhance their fundamental basketball skills and ... meet some new people – possibly make some new friends while learning the game of basketball."
Assistant coach Mya Burns also offered some insight on the week's core message. "I would like them to all understand teamwork – like, perseverance. If they want to play this sport, they have to know how to persevere. I want them to know how to work hard and just have fun. Just remember – it's just a sport. Always just have fun playing it," she said.
She speaks from plenty of experience, having led North Augusta High School's girls to their third straight state title this season and being named as South Carolina's top female AAAA player. She is now on track to attend Georgia Southern on a basketball scholarship.
Also on board as an assistant coach is her dad, Miguel Burns, who played for South Carolina State (1992-96), went on to coach at the high-school level and is now an assistant principal at South Aiken High.
The younger Burns said she started playing at about age 4. "My dad ... was a high-school coach when I was little, so I was always in the gym with him, since I was small," she recalled.
Grant started playing professional basketball in 2001 and retired in 2016. His local roles include leadership of Drill Team CSRA (with "Drill" representing an acronym to "develop responsible intellectuals loving life). Emphasis, according to the group's website, is on helping young people "who need that extra mentoring and guidance in life and reinforcement of positive traits that they may already possess while working to develop new positive traits."