Nine-Year NBA Veteran Damien Wilkins Traveling To India
BOSTON, Mass – Crossover Basketball and Scholars Academy is pleased to announce that nine-year NBA veteran Damien Wilkins will join their Hoops Creating Hope faculty and Crossover Sport in Education Conference starting on July 7, 2014. Wilkins will be joined by Crossover founder Shaun Jayachandran, WSN247 cofounder Carie Small, Phillips Academy cluster dean Raj Mundra, Harvard University basketball junior Jonah Travis, University of Maryland basketball junior Varun Ram, and Emory women’s basketball senior Lauren Ball and freshman Maggie Brown.
“It is a pleasure to travel to India this year to collaborate with Crossover; I am excited, and looking forward to having a positive impact!” said Wilkins. “Basketball has always been an important part of my life, it is the vehicle I used to get my education and more importantly promote the importance of academics.”
The nine-year NBA pro has career averages of 6.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 19.3 minutes in 563 games with Seattle, Oklahoma City, Minnesota, Atlanta, Detroit, and Philadelphia. Undrafted out of the University of Georgia, Wilkins enjoyed his best season a pro with Seattle in 2007-08 when he averaged 9.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 76 games (31 starts). He scored a career-high 41 points with a season-high nine rebounds at Atlanta (11/16) that season in addition to notching his 2,000th career point vs. Phoenix (3/19/08).
Wilkins is the son of 13-year NBA veteran Gerald Wilkins and nephew of Atlanta Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins.
Crossover Basketball and Scholars Academy (www.crossover-india.org) – is the first non-profit [501(c)3] international education program in India to leverage athletic values and skill as a means to develop academic opportunities for Indian students. The mission of Crossover Academy is to use basketball as a vehicle of change in communities in India by combining the ideas of a sport and imparting the values of leadership, character, teamwork, and communication with the goal of inspiring and preparing those students to continue in their educational pursuits while finding victories in the classroom.
Crossover’s program has grown from an initial 45 students in 2012, to 250 students in 2013, and now 450 students for the summer of 2014. Teach For India has increased its participation from 20 students in 2013 to 210 students in 2014.
This year on July 12, 2014 Crossover will host its inaugural Crossover Sport in Education Conference – a one-day event in collaboration with American International School Chennai open to all school leaders, coaches, and educators in India to attend without cost. This is a chance to go beyond the initial piece of sport being connected to teach life skills and actually show its impact on educational success.
The 2014 Hoops Creating Hope program will take place July 7 – 18 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.