Former NBA player Anthony Avent paid a visit to the Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School (TEECS) to teach third- and fourth-graders how to perfect their game.
Avent, whose son attends TEECS, joined the students on Nov. 9 for an afternoon of dribbling exercises and best practices for controlling the ball on the court.
“I have kids; I’m always teaching kids and mentoring kids,” Avent told the Sentinel. “Being in a kids’ environment is part of my daily routine.”
Avent started his basketball career playing for Malcolm X. Shabazz High School in Newark, where he played in the state championships. He attended Seton Hall University and played basketball there as well.
“I had a great career there as a student and as an athlete,” he said.
At Seton Hall, Avent played under current Brooklyn Nets assistant head coach P.J. Carlesimo.
“We reached the NCAA Final Four and played in an NCAA championship game,” Avent said.
Avent was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 1991 as a first-round draft pick, and went on to have an NBA career that spanned a decade; a typical NBA career lasts three years.
“I went on to play 10 years of professional basketball, and was fortunate to be on the 1995 Orlando Magic team that reached the finals against the Houston Rockets,” Avent recalled.
Avent also played for the Milwaukee Bucks, Vancouver Grizzlies and Utah Jazz before retiring with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2001.
“From a playing perspective, it was a fun and fulfilling career to be able to play for championships on all levels: high school, college and professional,” Avent said.
Off the court, Avent works in financial education. He serves as a consultant between financial companies and other businesses and often ends up working with athletes.
“Typically, I deal with companies, whether it’s a speaking engagement or motivational speaking,” Avent said.
However, despite the corporate atmosphere he works in, Avent always makes time to work with kids.
“I shoot around with kids all the time,” Avent said. “I do it so often that it’s not something I go to do, it’s something I do. Working with kids is part of my routine.”
Avent played in 352 NBA season games (156 games started), averaging 5.6 ppg and 4.5 rpg in 19 minutes of playing time.
His best season was his rookie season with the Milwaukee Bucks when he averaged 9.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and nearly a block per game.