It was ‘a great day’ at NBA star Willie Reed’s basketball camp at MCC-Penn Valley

Dozens of young basketball players converged on Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley’s campus on Saturday, June 25, to join NBA star Willie Reed in his first-ever Kansas City area basketball camp.

Reed, a Kansas City native and a center for the Brooklyn Nets, had some MCC-heritage coaching help with the free one-day camp. MCC alumnus and former NBA player Clay Johnson worked with Reed, as did current MCC-Penn Valley men’s basketball coach Marcus Harvey. “It was a great day,” Harvey said.

Reed took to social media to express his thanks for those who helped make the camp a success.

“My first camp is in the books! Thanks to everyone who helped and everyone who came out and participated. You made this possible,” Reed posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Willie Reed camp
NBA player Willie Reed snaps a selfie with the camp kids at MCC-Penn Valley.  Watch a candid video of the selfie event here.

Also getting in on the social media buzz was Kansas City Mayor Sly James, who posted several tweets. One tweet read: “Willie Reed of @BrooklynNets & Kansas City native hosts Willie Reed’s Elite Basketball Camp for youth.  #GivingBack

Mayor's tweet

Reed says he’ll keep the public posted about plans for future camps.

Our original story from May 31:

Brooklyn Nets center Willie Reed

Some Kansas City children will get to dribble and shoot directly in front of a few NBA stars this summer on the MCC-Penn Valley campus.

Kansas City native and Brooklyn Nets center Willie Reed is coming home this summer and has asked a friend, MCC alumnus and NBA champion Clay Johnson, to join him as they host the free one-day basketball camp.

Clay Johnson is now retired, but the 6-foot-4 guard who played for MCC and the University of Missouri spent three seasons (1981-84) in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers and Seattle SuperSonics.  He averaged 2.8 points per game in his NBA career and won an NBA championship with the Lakers in 1982.

Clay Johnson (34) of the Los Angeles Lakers gives a little twist to the game as he goes up and out-of-bounds while trying to save the ball against the defense of Joel Kramer (50) of the Phoenix Suns, April 28, 1982, Los Angeles, Calif. The action came during the second half of their first game of the Western Conference playoff, which the Lakers won, 155-96. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
MCC alumnus Clay Johnson (left) during his days with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Johnson played in 65 games over two seasons with the Lakers and was a member of the 1982 NBA championship team, appearing in seven playoff games.

At Reed’s camp, according to his website, children 9 to 13 will go through drills to increase their skills and confidence. The professional players will offer words of encouragement and take them through NBA-style training, giving them an opportunity to feel like they are in the NBA for a day.

The camp will be held Saturday, June 25, at MCC-Penn Valley.

This is Willie Reed’s first camp in Kansas City. Organizers had room for only 80 children and this year’s camp is now full, but he hopes to host another camp in the future.

To watch the “41 Action News” story on the camp, click here.