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Joe Johnson's Hometown Roots

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Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets

Joe Johnson is now part of the big city, as proven by this image from last week's visit to Yankee Stadium. He got big face time after throwing out the first pitch. Still, back in Little Rock, he's a local hero, a guy who's worked hard to give the young people of Centennial Park, where he grew up, a chance.

Working with the Clinton Foundation, he's help set up and, yes, play in the annual 3-on-3 summer league known as Hoop Jams. As someone who was a child in the violent, gang-ridden Little Rock of the 90's, Johnson can't forget what he left behind for the hardwood courts in Boston, Phoenix, Atlanta and now Brooklyn. He volunteers for community efforts, buys in.

As the author of a SLAM profile, out Wednesday, writes, "Joe Johnson is a special talent on the court, and, as folks in his hometown of Little Rock, AR, can attest, thoughtful and generous off it."