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NBA's Sebastian Telfair gives back to Brooklyn's kids

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

It's off-season for NBA players, but for one hoops star, it's game on when it comes to helping his community. Brooklyn-born star Sebastian Telfair is relentless about helping kids. He knows how much it took for him to become one of the all-time leading scorers in New York City basketball history, and a city and state champ for Lincoln High School.

That is why he's donating his time to teach summer camp at Basketball City and giving scholarships to those who cannot afford it.

"This is what motivates you, when I was a kid, I looked up to all the NBA players, I wanted to be like that," he said. "I come in here knowing how these kids are looking at me, even though I might get a little shy or a little nervous, I know that I can help these kids. I know that they're having a better day just by seeing me. So, I just want to have a good time with them."

Telfair knows it will take more than a good time for them to survive the dangers of the tough streets like he did. He took me to where he grew up: the Surfside Gardens housing development in Coney Island.

He said the run-down basketball court kept him out of trouble and that the local gang members left the athletes alone.

"One thing about Coney Island, it's a lot of violence, but if you're playing sports, the neighborhood is going to support you," he said. "And they're going to back you on that. They're not going to invite you into the lifestyle that they have. They would like for you to be different."

He wanted to give the kids in his neighborhood something better. So he hired an architect and drew up plans for a family friendly park with a regulation-size basketball court and state-of-the-art lighting so everyone feels safe.

Telfair has met with city officials about his plans, and said he is making progress. He has also created the 99 moves stop the violence initiative. He believes if the kids feel better about where they live they're more likely to stay out of trouble.

 

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