Professional basketball player from S.A. gives back with free camp

Orlando Mendez-Valdez is a professional basketball player who was born and raised on San Antonio's west side. This week Mendez-Valdez is offering a two day free basketball camp for kids from SAISD and the 78207 zip code.

SAN ANTONIO - Orlando Mendez-Valdez is a professional basketball player who was born and raised on San Antonio's west side.

This week, Mendez-Valdez is offering a two-day free basketball camp for kids from SAISD and the 78207 zip code. 

Mendez-Valdez has played professional basketball for eight seasons, seven in the Mexican LNBP league and last year in the Israeli Premier League.

He grew up in Section 8 housing on the west side and played his first five-on-five game on the courts he's now coaching on. 

"We always hoped for someone to make it out of the neighborhood...it's very emotional...I wanted to give them a familiar face, come back, give back to the neighborhood, be a part of this community that has given so much to me," Mendez-Valdez said.

Tuesday the kids that he coached said that seeing someone from their neighborhood become a professional athlete was inspiring. 

"He's helping other people and maybe he can help other people make it to where he's at," Ten-year-old Sadie Lucio said.

"Whenever you meet a professional it just gives you better experience and it just gives you more courage to be what you want to be when you grow up," Eight-year-old Xaidyn McKennon said. 

Watch Mendez-Valdez's one-on-one with KENS 5's Deborah Knapp below.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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