KANSAS CITY, Kan. — For all of the accomplishments in his NBA career as a player and coach, Earl Watson is most proud of the progress he's making in his hometown of Kansas City, Kansas.
Watson is influencing the lives of young people both on and off the court through his basketball academy, "Dotte Dreams."
The Wyandotte County native said his community is full of young dreamers.
"I'm trying to find a way to get back into the city, Wyandotte County, where I'm from, and give these kids a positive image of sports and life," Watson said.
Every month, Watson works with kids at Bethany Rec Center in KCK, the same gym where he learned to love the game.
"I wanted to come back to the same place that built my dream, that inspired me to do more and most importantly to let them know that people do care," Watson said.
The Earl Watson Basketball Academy is about more than just basketball. Watson said his goal is to inspire young children in the game of life by bringing them positive energy and light.
During each camp, Watson said there's three main points he's shooting to instill in the kids: having a positive attitude, dreaming big and always making good choices. He also hopes adults will step up and be role models for the community.
"Create programs, create resources, create opportunity to allow these kids to dream because an idle mind is going to always get in trouble when there's nothing to do and there's no opportunity," he said.
The basketball camp is free to attend — though Watson does require a positive attitude. Once a month when he comes into town from Los Angeles, Watson will post the date and time of the camp to his social media accounts.
With new children showing up each time, Watson hopes to touch many lives across the metro area.
"I don't dream endings, I just take it one step at a time and somehow, something great is always built," Watson said.