Atlanta Hawks’ shooting guard Kent Bazemore was undrafted out of college. He beat the odds to not only make the NBA, but he then went on to become a break-out starter for the Atlanta Hawks.
Bazemore, who recently completed his fifth NBA season, grew up in Kelford, NC, a town of only about 260 residents. He earned an academic and basketball scholarship to attend Old Dominion University.
Bazemore is hosting his 4th Annual Celebrity Weekend to benefit the ARMS Foundation, a non-profit designed to promote, motivate and inspire any young child who aspires to be part of the next generation of leaders. The public is invited to participate in an UNO Tournament on Friday, Sept. 15 and a Celebrity Golf Tournaments on Monday, Sept. 18. (More information below).
The AJC recently got up with Bazemore to talk about the upcoming season:
Q: What do you think about the predictions for the season? According to projections from Kevin Pelton of ESPN based on Real Plus-Minus (RPM), Atlanta’s projected win total is 27 for next season. Not only does the projection forecast the Hawks missing the postseason for the first time in 10 years, it is the lowest win total among all 30 teams in the NBA.
A: He has a job to do and I don’t discredit the research he has done, and people have a tendency to always put someone last. It is up to us to put in the work and we know what we are capable of as a team. We will take it one day at a time, one game at a time.
I am feeling really good about our team this year and we have new guys who are showing up and who are working hard and just the way our team is playing, and playing extremely hard, that will alone will win you 27 games. I have no doubt about eclipsing that.
We have a bunch of guys who are fearless and Dennis (point guard Dennis Schröder) is very fearless and as our leader at the point guard he will be contagious.
Q: What about Bazegaze? Will we see it again this season?
A: You never know. We will see what the season brings. I definitely love things to happen organically and love it when things just happen. We’ll see what the synergies of the universe brings.
Q: What is the message you give to young people as you visit schools as part of your ARMS Foundation?
A: My message always begins with education. I have two degrees in college (human services and criminal justice) and that is one of my main accomplishments. I tell students whatever you choose to be - an athlete, a musician, a veterinarian, take school seriously. For me, I always knew I wanted to play in the NBA but if I didn’t get my two degrees and challenge myself, and work hard in school, I don’t think I would have ever made it into the NBA.
Here’s more information about the upcoming events to benefit the ARMS Foundation:
- Friday, Sept. 15 @ 7pm – UNO Tournament held at Westside Culture Center (760 10th Street, NW). That’s right, UNO, the card game you played as a child with an added twist. This event is open to the public, where fans can play UNO against the celebrities while enjoying food, drinks and entertainment. Tickets for adults start at $60; $45 for students $25 for spectator tickets.
- Monday, Sept. 18 @ 9am – Celebrity Golf Classic at Dunwoody Golf Club (1600 Dunwoody Club Drive) with a shotgun start. Celebrities are paired with each foursome and there are spot prizes throughout the course.
Several professional athletes are expected to join Bazemore including the former Atlanta Hawks player Josh Smith and former Atlanta Braves’ slugger Andruw Jones.