AUSTIN (KXAN) — Kids from across Austin learned how to ‘hoop it up’ with former San Antonio Spurs all-star James Silas and his son, Xavier, who also plays professional basketball.
“It’s amazing how you see the change in (the kids),” James Silas said of the kids picking up skills in his camp. “We love it and they love it.”
This was the second year for the ‘Silas’ Go with the Pros Basketball Camp.’ The camp doubled in size this year and Silas says the best part is not only working with the kids, but his son.
“I used to do camps all the time, even before the Spurs days. When (Xavier) went off to school he said, ‘Dad you’ve got to be there,'” James Silas said. “I had to cut off a lot of things…Now it’s amazing how God brought it back around to where he’s working with me.”
The former guard played with the Spurs for eight seasons. He was the first person in the Spurs franchise to have his jersey, No. 13, retired.
His son Xavier was a top basketball player at Austin High School.
“Go Maroons,” Xavier added. “I’m a loyal forever, I’m an Austin guy.”
He ended up playing college ball at Northern Illinois University and went on to the NBA and played professionally for the Philadelphia 76ers and the Washington Wizards. Right now he is a free agent.
Xavier said he grew up going to his basketball camps, which makes it more special that he and his father have one together.
“I think it’s a good tandem because he’s kind of like the old school fundamental type and I have the new school generation type stuff,” Xavier said, “so I think the kids respond to both pretty well.”
And the kids recognize they are learning from some of the best.
“It’s really awesome, I’ve actually never met any famous athlete and it’s really cool that I know Xavier and James,” said Wyatt Smith, an 8th grader who came back for his second year. “It’s been really tiring, but it’s definitely gotten me a lot better, I’ve improved a lot.”
“We have a girl here this week who had never made a shot before, and here was her first time making a shot on the big basket, so it’s great,” said Xavier. “She will always remember that and I’m going to be a part of that, and that’s why we do it.”
The duo have another camp next week at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School and a camp in Cedar Park later in July.