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Former Knicks Great Larry Johnson Shoots Hoops With Kids in Jamaica

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | March 1, 2013 12:44pm

QUEENS — What an assist.

Hoping to get Queens teens excited about basketball, former Knicks forward Larry Johnson hosted a basketball clinic at a middle school in 
Jamaica Thursday.

Before showing students some moves, Johnson told kids who gathered at I.S. 238 the importance of practicing sports and encouraged them to exercise on a regular basis.

“We’ll give you a couple of drills and when you go home, you gotta continue these drills,” he said. “You're not gonna get it all in one day. You have to go home and work on it.”

During the 2-hour basketball clinic, organized by The Madison Square Garden Company in collaboration with local City Council Member Leroy Comrie as part of a series of events promoting basketball among New York teens, kids practiced dribbling and passing with Johnson and MSG staff.

Keith Williams, 13, an 8th grader from I.S. 238, said he wants to become an NBA player.

“I want to be a number one basketball player like him,” said the teen, referring to Johnson.

Another teen, Mia Cornegy, 13, from St. Albans, said playing with the former Knicks' star was inspiring.

“It’s going to help me exercise more,” said Mia, who is dreaming of becoming a doctor. “I like shooting and I like teamwork.”

“Most kids look up to sports guys,” said Johnson, who has seven children himself.

He said he hopes such events will encourage teens to change some of their their bad habits. 

“It’s easy to sit in front of a computer for five or six hours,” he said. “But it’s important to get out and exercise every day.”

He said he also hoped to influence kids’ eating habits.

“In certain neighborhoods diet is not always good. Fast food has taken over our youngsters,” he said. “We want them to stay in shape.”