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Sunday, December 8 2013 8:30 AM EST2013-12-08 13:30:02 GMT
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(Toledo News Now) -
For 21 years, Jimmy Jackson has been coming back to Toledo to run a youth basketball camp with his friend Todd Mitchell.
The former Macomber High School and Ohio State standout played for 12 different teams during his 14 year NBA career, which ended in 2006.
Jackson doesn't like to think about it but there are a lot of kids at the Mitchell & Jackson Camp that have never even see him play in a game, much less score a basket.
Sad to say, the number grows every year. But the 42-year-old keeps coming back. Some of the original campers are in their thirties now, but the memories of what they learned remain as strong as ever.
"We teach the kids to look at the game as a whole," said Jackson. "Not to let the game use them but to use the game."
The game has changed a lot since Jackson was selected 4th overall in the 1992 NBA Draft.
"The game has to evolve. That's the beauty of the game. It has changed. When I came in 1992, it was different than it was 10 years prior," said Jackson.
Today's NBA features fewer big men, more threes and more athleticism. Coming from a former 6'6" guard, that's a good thing.
"There are more kids that are 6'6", 6'5" so it's easier for them to relate," said Jackson.
Jackson has been out of the league for 7 years, but the sidelines have given him a new perspective. As they say: you can take a player from the game, but you can't take the game from the player.