CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Charge and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio hosted a free basketball clinic for local kids on Monday night.
"They said it was a special guest coming, but I didn't know the Cleveland Charge was coming," said 10-year-old Jaylen Mays.
The clinic was be led by Cavs Academy coaches and volunteers from the Boys & Girls Clubs, before the Charge players joined in on the action.
“I was excited to practice with them and have fun," said Mays.
The kids had the chance to shoot hoops, get autographs and take photos with their favorite players – an experience just as rewarding for the athletes.
“Seeing the joy on the kids' faces, looking up to us - we were once in those shoes. So, anytime we’re able to give back and able to see ourselves in those kids is a great experience. I’d like to do this every day if I could,” said Charge guard-forward Nate Hinton.
The surprises didn’t stop there. Another special guest showed up – Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb.
"The fact that many of them are just like me nearly 20-25 years ago, playing basketball at a Boys & Girls Club, and to be the second youngest mayor, the second youngest Black mayor in Cleveland history - to be here is certainly a dream come true," said Bibb.
Each kid received a gift bag from the Charge with promo items and a voucher for four free tickets to the Charge game on March 11 at the Wolstein Center. The team will be handing out Bibb bobbleheads, on what they’re calling ‘Bibblehead Night.’
Carly Mascitti is a sports anchor at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @carlymascitti.
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