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NBA player gives back to hometown of London, Ont. with free drop-in program – London |



Shaedon Sharpe, who signed his rookie-scale contract with the Portland Trail Blazers just last summer, is starting his NBA career off on a philanthropic note by giving back to support youth in his hometown of London, Ont.

The 20-year-old, who attended H. B. Beal Secondary School, is sponsoring a drop-in basketball program at Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre.

The free, weekly basketball sessions will begin next Friday, Jan. 19 and will be held every Friday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. for kids 10 to 17. However, space is limited and registration is required.

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“When I was growing up, some of my best childhood memories were hanging with my friends and shooting hoops on a Friday night. I knew if I ever went pro, I wanted to make sure kids in my hometown had a safe place to hang out and have fun while playing basketball, whether they were just starting out or taking their game to the next level,” Sharpe said in a statement announcing the program.

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“It’s amazing that I’m in a position to give back like this, it means so much to me knowing I have the ability to help out and maybe even inspire the next generation of basketball players coming out of London.”

London Mayor Josh Morgan says the weekly sessions will “build on a thriving basketball culture in the city.”

“This sponsorship, a testament to Sharpe’s commitment to community development, is a source of pride for the City of London and a shining example of the positive impact athletes can have on their hometowns,” Morgan said.

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