Allan Houston’s series-clinching shot against the Miami Heat in the first round of the 1999 NBA Playoffs is a moment forever cherished in the minds of Knicks fans. This summer, believe it or not, Houston created memories even more unforgettable for some lucky local youths, when the Port Chester Carver Center welcomed the Knick great as a guest instructor for its Summer Sports Program.
Houston headed weekly basketball clinics at Garibaldi Park, volunteering his time to teach the basics to the 40 children enrolled. Basketball, however, was just one aspect of the clinic. Houston asked the children, who were between the ages of 8 and 13, to bring along the adult male closest to them, whether it was a father, uncle, older brother or family friend. He emphasized the value of this life relationship, and the importance of not just improving as a basketball player, but as a person.
Houston played for his father, Wade, at the University of Tennessee, and has long been one of the NBA’s classiest acts. He’s won numerous “Man of the Year” and “Good Guys in Sports” awards, and was once quoted as saying, “If you take pride in your community just like you take pride in your team and you’re unselfish, meaning you give back a variety of different things, you’ll feel good about yourself and your community. That’s what I try to teach children.”
The Greenwich resident, who started the Allan Houston Legacy Foundation in 2001, enjoyed the experience and hopes to build on his relationship with the Carver Center.