Wilkins wants to do more for Washington

Published 6:27 am Tuesday, June 24, 2008

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
Damien Wilkins never got a chance to suit up for the Pam Pack like his Uncle Dominique. As a young boy, he dreamed of wearing the #21 Washington High School jersey his nine-time NBA all-star uncle made famous, but by the time his teenage years rolled around, the Wilkins family had packed up their belongings and headed south for Orlando.
Though the 6-foot-6 Wilkins was quickly emerged as a star at Dr. Phillips High School shortly after arriving in Orlando, his heart remained in Washington. This is where he learned the game. This is where his friends were. This was home.
Although he’s now a multi-millionaire living in Seattle, Washington remains home.
That’s why he returns each summer — to give back to the people he says helped him get to where he is today.
For the last four years, Wilkins has returned home each summer for his annual ‘Fun Day’, an event which he provides free food, games and entertainment for children of all ages. He also takes time to shake hands, sign autographs and give away door prizes to all adoring youngsters.
Two years ago, Wilkins launched the Damien Wilkins Basketball Camp, a one-day event where kids get to learn skills and techniques from the NBA star, free of charge.
Now, Wilkins wants to expand.
Among the ideas being floated around by Wilkins and a plethora of volunteers, is expanding the camp to five days, and then adding a 3-on-3 basketball tournament for the weekend.
Wilkins likes the idea of a 3-on-3 tournament and would also like to give more basketball instruction throughout the week.
Wilkins was pleased with how this year’s weekend panned out, but him and his volunteers would like to reach out to even more kids next summer.
Wilkins feels that message is starting to get across to the youth.