GATE CITY, Va. (WJHL) – While many spent Memorial Day surrounded by friends, family and good food outdoors, hundreds of kids spent the day inside Gate City Middle School.
2023 NBA Slam Dunk champion, Mac McClung, returned home on Monday for two sessions of his third-annual basketball camp.
“Days like today are days I can fully be present and just be grateful and have fun with these guys,” McClung said Monday afternoon. “I love – I was these guys once.”
McClung, alongside his former high school teammates and coaches, had kids ages kindergarten through 12th grade working on their craft through drills and games. A total of 239 campers all hit the court for some fun in their special-edition PUMA camp shirts.
This year, McClung brought the camp from Kingsport back to his hometown of Gate City – to the very court where a banner of his Blue Devil accomplishments hangs in the rafters.
Many things in McClung’s life have changed over the last few months – winning an NBA G-League championship on top of the Slam Dunk Contest can do that. But, one thing hasn’t changed for McClung – his love for sharing the game of basketball with his hometown.
“I don’t look at it any different since the dunk contest,” McClung added. “I enjoy basketball, I enjoy teaching and coaching. So, I’m just having fun, man. To have all my guys here from high school with me. We’re just having fun and trying to help the next generation.”
As for McClung’s next steps in the NBA, he said he has been working out since the offseason began a few weeks ago.
“Just enjoying myself, getting ready for what’s next and making sure I’m ready for whatever opportunity comes my way,” he explained.
McClung played the majority of the 2022-23 season with the Delaware Blue Coats, the G-League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers, before being elevated to the NBA roster for the final two games of the season.