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Suffolk hoops legend brings free clinics to parks

Former Forest Glen High basketball star Lamont Strothers lives and works just a bit up the road from Suffolk these days.

Strothers is the founder and owner of G.E.S.U.S. Ball (Growth through Education, Sports, Unity and Spirit), a combination of AAU basketball teams, summer camps and programs, mentoring, therapy, counseling, tutoring and spiritual guidance based in Newport News and Hampton.

“I’m from Suffolk. It’s my home and I used to do clinics outdoors, in the parks, until about four years ago. So now I thought to bring them back, to find different things to do with the youth because of all the trouble recently,” Strothers said.

Starting on Saturday, July 17 and running each Saturday until Aug. 7, Strothers is running free basketball clinics for boys and girls, ages 9-15, at three parks around Suffolk.

Each Saturday, Strothers will hold a clinic at Lake Kennedy Park from 9:30-10:30 a.m., at Ida Easter Park from 11 a.m.-noon and at Mary Estes Park from 12:30-1:30 p.m.

“We want to start free clinics for kids again because in Newport News and Hampton, there are a lot of things going on, with camps, clinics, open gyms and stuff like that. Kids in Suffolk normally have to travel to be a part of that,” Strothers said.

Strothers, a 6-foot-4 guard, went on from Forest Glen to average 23.4 points per game from 1987-1991 at Christopher Newport.

With 2,709 career points, Strothers is CNU’s all-time leading scorer by more than 700 points.

Strothers was drafted in the second round of the 1991 NBA Draft by Golden State. He was traded and played part of a season with Portland, then part of the following season with Dallas. He also played pro basketball in the Philippines and Turkey.

“We want to have the clinic reach as many kids as possible,” Strothers said. “A kid at Lake Kennedy can’t walk to South Suffolk, but we can come to his neighborhood and have the same training at each park.”

The Saturday clinics are just the start of some ideas he’s bringing to Suffolk. Strothers is organizing a 3-on-3 tournament for late August.

“Mainly, it’s going to be a lot of fun. We’ll have food out there. We’re trying to get local businesses to be involved in the tournament so we’ll have free food and other stuff out there,” Strothers said.

For the free clinics on Saturdays, a parent or guardian must be present to fill out registration forms. Forms will be available on site at each park, or they can be found at www.gesusball.org.