OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander returns home to share hoop dreams with kids

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander shares hoop dreams and pizza with kids at his local Hamilton, Ontario YMCA this weekend.

The new starting guard for the OKC Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander returned back home to Hamilton, Ontario this past week. In an event at the downtown James Street, South YMCA the rising star spent time with 100 young kids from his local area.

Gilgeous-Alexander spent a lot of time at the Hamilton YMCA growing up where he honed his skills. The 21 year old told the local TV channel how he would come to the YMCA twice a day when he was in high school to work on his basketball fundamentals. SGA’s former coach, Kenold Knight spoke about the youngster’s confidence. Gilgeous-Alexander told his coach he always believed he would break into the pros and be among the best in the NBA one day.

That hard work paid off for SGA as he joined Cavaliers Collin Sexton, Clippers teammate Landry Shamet, Knicks Mitchell Robinson, and Hawks Kevin Huerter on the All-NBA Rookie second team. The first team featured Mavericks Luka Doncic, Hawks Trae Young, Suns Deandre Ayton, Grizzlies Jaren Jackson Jr., and Kings Marvin Bagley III.

Making the All-NBA rookie second team speaks to how hard the youngster worked and the fact he became the main bargaining chip for the Clippers – Thunder deal also cemented his value and how high both teams are on the potential ceiling of the point guard.

In his first season in the National Basketball Association, the point guard averaged 10.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.2 steals and shot 36.7 percent from the perimeter. Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers is known for being cautious with younger point guards especially since he played that position himself. But, SGA impressed Rivers so much he quickly moved into the starting lineup.

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During the playoffs, Gilgeous-Alexander showed he is unafraid of the big moment registering better production than his regular season stats. The former Kentucky guard had three double-digit outings versus the Golden State Warriors which unfortunately were all Clippers losses. His standout performance came in the final Game 6 against the Dubs when he amassed 21 points, with 5 rebounds and 6 assists.

Director of UPLAY Canada, Dwyane Knight noted how SGA is showing kids with hard work and belief you can accomplish anything you heart desires. For the Canadian kids of Hamilton and Burlington, this belief is two-fold given Shai’s cousin Nickeil Alexander-Walker also was drafted this past summer joining the New Orleans Pelicans.

Next. How Thunder backcourt duo Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander can thrive together. dark

Each of the children in attendance at the Hamilton YMCA shared pizza with the point guard and Gilgeous-Alexander also handed out vouchers for back to school supplies.