HARVEY, La. (WGNO) — This year, nearly 5,000 kids are taking part in an expanded summer bridge program through a partnership between the Zion Williamson Foundation, the American Heart Association, and ATMOS Energy for this basketball camp.

At Friday’s press conference, Pelicans Power Forward Zion Williamson expressed how having a camp of his own changed his childhood.

“I came up through camp run by my stepdad when I was young and that’s how I fell in love with the game of basketball,” said Williamson.

The partnership provides kids with a supply of snack and wellness kits and even basketball tips from the Pelicans star.

“The Jefferson Summer Bridge program is a wonderful way to keep children engaged over the summer months with fun and innovative learning opportunities. I’m excited the program has additional partners this year to provide enrichment opportunities, which will benefit all 4,800 Jefferson Parish School students expected to participate. Let’s make sure our children keep learning all year long,” said Congressman Troy A. Carter, Sr.

The basketball camp comes on the heels of a $250,000 donation from the foundation to help students’ families with the costs of uniforms in the wake of the new consolidation plan in Jefferson Parish.

“If you want to know where somebody’s heart is, look at where they spend their time and money. The Zion Williamson Foundation has pledged $250,000 to support our impacted families, so they are putting their money and spending their time with our kids in Jefferson Parish,” said Dr. James Gray, Superintendent of Jefferson Parish Schools.

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