Quincy Pondexter makes surprise stop at Reedley basketball camp

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Many kids dream of playing in the NBA, but for Fresno native Quincy Pondexter, it's his reality. (KFSN)

These young basketball players are working hard on the basics -- all in the hopes of being the best. One Valley native knows what it's like to rise to the top.

"I love being back home. Fresno is my hometown. I was born and raised here, so any chance I get to come back and spend time here, it's a lot of fun," said Quincy Pondexter, who plays professional basketball for the New Orleans Pelicans.

On Thursday, he made a surprise stop at a basketball camp at Immanuel High School. "I just want to show them proof that anything is possible. You just got to go out there and give it your best," said Pondexter. "I didn't think I was going to make it at times, but I worked really, really hard. And with the same work ethic, I think all these kids have the chance of making it, whatever their dreams are."

That message resonated with these young athletes, who are dreaming big too. "It was really good meeting Quincy and having him talk to us because it was a really good speech that he gave us. No matter where you come from or no matter who you are. When you are younger, if you work hard, then it will pay off," student Landon Yamada said.

While the message is inspirational, Pondexter says he often gets a lot of questions about what it's like to be a big NBA basketball player. He said, "How tall are you? How many points has Steph Curry scored on you? That's probably going to be a good one. How tall is LeBron? Is Kobe good? Those questions, they're normal questions. Have you met Justin Bieber? Those questions are all the cool ones, but they're kids, and I let their imaginations run wild."

As for this San Joaquin Memorial graduate, Pondexter says he feels blessed to be among the handful of Valley athletes who are playing professional basketball. Pondexter is excited to share his story with others. He'll be hosting his annual basketball camp next week at Buchanan High School in Clovis for young Valley athletes.
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