Oklahoma City Thunder forward Luguentz Dort was back on the Montreal courts he grew up on last week, but this time it wasn’t just to shoot some hoops.
Dort said he wanted to give back to the community he credits for the player he is today.
To that end, Dort announced his new foundation, Maizon Dort — a non-profit that aims to get kids from underserved community into team sports. In addition to Montreal, Maizon will also help kids in the U.S., including central Arizona and Oklahoma City.
The player made the announcement while hosting a NBA player’s camp at the William-Hingston Centre in the city’s Parc-Extension borough last weekend.
“It was tough for me growing up, I never had the chance to attend an NBA player’s camp,” said Dort, who just signed a five-year contract with the team worth $87.5 million. “I feel like it was great just to spend some time with [the kids].”
The NBA star grew up in the city’s Montréal-Nord borough, and says he launched the foundation because he wants kids to know the attitude and teamwork they need to play pro. It’s his second time hosting the player’s camp in Montreal.
Hundreds of young basketball players got a chance to take part, rushing between the drills, one-on-ones and question-and-answer period.
“It’s really exciting,” said Jayden Roach, who’s been playing basketball since the 4th grade.
“When he walked in, I was like wow, we are playing against an NBA star.”
Dort isn’t the only NBA star to call Montréal-Nord home. Chris Boucher and Bennedict Mathurin are also from the community, the latter picked sixth overall in this summer’s draft.
“There’s so much talent in Montréal-Nord and you see by the players that are in the NBA right now,” Dort said
“I represent a lot where I grew up, where I come from. I feel like Montréal-Nord built me and made me who I am today.”
The shooting guard says more news about the foundation will be out soon. In the meantime, he’s focusing on the next generation.
“The main thing is to give back to the kids,” he said.