T.J. Ford is one of the most impactful players, regardless of sport, to ever come out of Houston. One year into NBA retirement he remains involved in the game where he made his name and with definitive ideas to influence the next generation of hoopsters.
Ford and event organizers are in the finishing stages of establishing a two-game camp here in the city set for June 5-6 for the top 60 players in the state. It's a small piece to a larger plan that Ford hopes will alter the current culture that permeates youth basketball in Texas.
"We have a lot of talent in this state," Ford told FOX 26, "but these kids need more from someone who has been there, done that, to tell these kids you are doing enough, you're not doing enough.
"I don't think these kids understand what goes into being an athlete, don't think they understand the mentality, understand the work ethic. You can be in the gym all day but that doesn't say you're dialed in and focused on working on your game. I think (the current attitude) is in a relaxed mode. The players are under the impression they deserve media attention, deserve to go to the best schools, when my generation and those before me had to show," why the recognition, reputation and opportunities were warranted.
Ford's long term goals also include a basketball-type academy that would emphasize teaching life skills through the game.