Vernard Hollins has spent eight seasons playing professional basketball overseas.
Now some of his friends from those squads are making their way to Fort Wayne for the Nard Hollins Charity Challenge.
The event starts at 1 p.m. Saturday at South Side High School.
The Challenge features six games with area girls and boys ranging from elementary school to high school participating. Hollins, a standout at North Side, said seven friends that he played with from his overseas teams will help coach and mentor the kids.
Hollins is the director of the non-profit Always 100 Inc., which includes a camp and workouts at Imagine School on Wells Street.
I have experience of playing professional basketball for the last eight years, he said on Wednesday. I thought this would be a great way to give back and give kids fundamentals so they can improve and get to the next level.
Its a blessing. To be able to do something you love to do every day and to be able to help out and to show the youth, Hey, you can do it.
Hollins played college basketball at Wright State. Hes played in Mexico, Germany, France, Switzerland, Macedonia, Turkey and Hungry. He spent this past season playing for a team in Austria.
He shares some of those experiences in a new book The Disease Didnt Kill the Dream. He will have a book signing from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at South Side.
My dad (Tharnell Hollins) passed of diabetes when I was 16, he said. I wrote a book about dealing with my dads death and living in eight different countries and dealing with adversity in middle school and high school. And persevering through hard times.