As told to Christina M. Tapper
As a teenager, Mike Conley spent his summers traveling the country and playing hoops with the best of the best. In 2004, he ran the offense for the AAU Spiece Indy Heat, a team with a roster of future NBA stars — Miami Heat center Greg Oden, New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Gordon, Charlotte Hornets forward Josh McRoberts, and guard Daequan Cook, who played for the Houston Rockets and the Chicago Bulls in 2012–2013 and in Ukraine this season.
Conley, who averaged 17.2 points and 6.0 assists as the Memphis Grizzlies' point guard this year, played 11 years of AAU ball and won five titles as a youngster, but the '04 team brings back his fondest memories. Conley spoke to SI KIDS about the experiences that helped mold his NBA career.
Three weeks after opting out of his contract, Carmelo Anthony is staying in New York. He made the announcement on his website yesterday.
“This organization has supported me and in return, I want to stay and build here with this city and my team,” Melo wrote in an essay titled “My City, My Heart.” “I am looking forward to continuing my career in Orange & Blue, and to working with Phil Jackson, a champion who builds championship teams.”
Editor's note: This essay was originally published at SI.com.
Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.
The days leading up the NBA Draft can be stressful for the NBA’s top prospects. But between media day and taking the stage at the Barclays Center, 10 top prospects spent some time with a group of New York City students.
The soon-to-be-draftees stopped by Public School 111 in Manhattan last week to host an NBA FIT clinic with 75 young aspiring basketball players. Their visit also helped tip off the city’s free summer meals program.
Hats off to Brittney Griner and Tim Howard. Or perhaps I should say, hands up! The Phoenix Mercury center and Team USA goaltender both showcased incredible defensive performances this week. On Sunday, Griner recorded 11 blocked shots against the Tulsa Shock, the most ever in a WNBA game. On Tuesday, Howard made 16 saves during Team USA's game against Belgium, the most in a World Cup game since 1966.
While scoring gets a lot of praise and attention, Griner and Howard showed us why defense deserves more applause.
All-Star NBA center Kevin Love has been one of the top stories of the offseason. After (maybe) asking the Timberwolves to trade him, teams from around the league have tried to entice him away from Minnesota. But he was able to take a break from all that in June at the E3 video game conference in Los Angeles. Between playing the latest titles from Activision, SI Kids spoke to Love about his favorite games and the "cheat codes" he uses when playing NBA2K.