NEW TOWN, N.D. – Back in June, members from the Minnesota Timberwolves came to New Town to establish a basketball academy for kids.
The Timberwolves ran a two-day camp for the kids. An eight-team league was put together with a junior and senior division. The kids also attended health and wellness talks throughout the summer. To close out the academy, the Timberwolves are back to see how it went.
"It's an opportunity for us to promote health and wellness through basketball. I think more importantly to provide hope. I think in areas like this, kids probably see the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx as not necessarily as accessible. So we want to make sure that we spread our outreach to everyone,” said John Thomas, Minnesota Timberwolves vice-president of Basketball Development.
Keita Bates-Diop says talking with kids in New Town reminds him of his own upbringing.
"I love it. I came from a small town and I didn't have a lot of stuff like this going on where people with a lot of life experiences came back and talked to us about life. So for me to be able to have this opportunity to do it, I just love doing it,” said Bates-Diop, Timberwolves forward.
The 52 kids who finished the academy will get to be honored guests at a Timberwolves game this season.