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Native New Yorker Chris McCullough serious about giving back

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Before the draft, when he thought he might be drafted by the Nets, Chris McCullough told a videographer chronicling his rehab following ACL surgery that he hoped to give back to the community.  Now, even before he has played his first game in his native New York, the rookie has shown he's serious about the idea.

A few weeks ago, he was in the Bronx, where he grew up, running a one-day Chris McCullough Skills Academy for youngsters in the neighborhood, making sure each of them got a t-shirt with his hashtag, #They Sleep, on the back.  Then, this week, just as quietly, he did the same thing in Brooklyn.

For two hours Wednesday, he took time to sign autographs, pose for pictures, and chat with 80 of his pint-sized fans, The Brooklyn Paper reported. The session was not a meet-and-greet either. McCullough spent two hours at the Ingersoll Community Center.

It was a family affair as well. In addition to receiving a t-shirt made for the occasion, there were cupcakes courtesy of Tonnies Minis — a Manhattan bakery where McCullough’s uncle and manager Andre McCullough works.

Khalid Green, the Nets scout and founder of the Brooklyn Bridge basketball program, helped organize the event. "They wanted to get involved in the community even before he shot a basketball," Green said of McCullough and his uncle.

Now, if he can follow through on his other promise from back in June. "If I get drafted to the Brooklyn Nets, I want to bring home a NBA championship to my hometown."