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PNY Center To Hear Bouncing Balls

This time of year, the PNY Center should be filled with the sounds of bouncing balls, squeaking sneakers and irritating whistles as Nets players prepare for opening night 10 days away. All those noises will be heard at the practice facility Sunday. It's just that they'll be made not by Nets players but by 80 area kids, aged 12-14 years old.

They'll be at a hoops clinic sponsored by the Nets and MacDonalds and run by Avery Johnson and two former Nets, Kerry Kittles and Darryl Dawkins.  The young players were chosen by their peers, league organizers, and coaches for their outstanding teamwork and sportsmanship while participating in youth basketball tournaments this past summer.

For Johnson, it's just an extension of what he does during the off-season: inspiring young people.  He was once again behind a mic this week in his native New Orleans, speaking to students about the value of "having the right attitude, having the right work ethic." It's the third time he's done it in NOLA since April.