BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Capitol High School alum, LSU great, and NBA veteran held his annual basketball camp in the capital area.
With each handshake, hug and interaction at his Reach Back Week camp, Baton Rouge native Brandon Bass is reminded no matter where his NBA career takes him, this is home.
"It's sort of like a family reunion. I spend time with the kids, but I spend time talking to parents because the people I went to highschool with have kids now," Bass says. "For the kids, it's cool to see the smiles on their faces. I've been doing it for nine years so it's cool to see the kids that have been here for a long time and improving their skills.
Bass says he just to produce more leaders.
"It's important for me to do that. Teach the kids basketball skills, but more importantly, inspire them in life, period," Bass says.
The camp was tuition free but was limited to 100 registered participants. Campers received a camp t-shirt, prizes, and an autographed photo of Bass.
Fourth year Reach Back Week camper, Xavier Roberson said to have someone come back after so many successful moves was a nice to him and fellow campers.
"It's very nice to us because for us we really don't have anybody to come back and do things like that," Roberson said. "So for him to make all those successful moves and to come back out of his busy schedule to help us, it's a great thing."
And Bass has made it a point to give back beyond just the basketball court. As part of the camp, he delivers free backpacks and school supplies to local youth, something he sees as a direct impact in their daily lives.
"I know how it feels to be one of these kids so what i'm doing is giving what i would have wanted when I was a kid", Bass said.
"I grew up in a house of eight kids. It would have been cool if some celebrity would have came back and given away backpacks and school supplies and done a cool event in the park with music and games so that's what i'm doing."
Bass, who is now a free agent, is heading into his 13th NBA season. He says he's ready to contribute in anyway possible and the people that knew him when he was just a kid say not much has changed.
"I've been blessed. What I am looking for right now is to be part of an organization that i can help grow. Help the younger guys, be the ultimate pro, and come in and help the program go to the next level," Bass said.
Bass' Capital High basketball coach Alvin Stewart said after all these years and much success, he is still the same person.
"The most outstanding thing to me is Brandon is the same person always," Steward said. "He hasn't changed. He always comes back he's always open to a phone call. I just love that about him."
The Brandon Bass ReachBack Foundation Basketball Camps have been impacting youth in underserved communities for 10 years. Since 2007, they have also hosted a community outreach event providing students with essential schools supplies and family fun.
The camp was held on three different schools in the Baton rouge area from July 20 through July 22. In addition to Capitol High, which was the last camp held, there were also camps held at Devall Middle School and Pointee Coupee STEM Academy.
For more information on the BBRB Foundation, visit their website.