Kevin “Butter” Johnson grew up in the Bronx in New York and has been a professional basketballer in places like Spain, Venezuela and Mexico. Now based in Australia, Kevin is a coach for Helping Hoops, who run basketball clinics at public housing estates throughout Melbourne, including a popular program in Richmond.
“I grew up in the Bronx New York, there were six kids in the family. We were immigrants to America, coming from Jamaica.
The Projects in the Bronx is totally different to public housing in Australia. The atmosphere is just different. There are a lot of things that you can’t do over there because it is just too dangerous.
Here there are so many activities for the kids. The community gives back.
I’m loving my work with Helping Hoops. Our focus is on getting kids to participate, to interact with people and set life goals.
All of the kids who come along to Helping Hoops are stars in my eyes, they don’t need to become professional basketballers, the main thing is that they are here to have fun and be active.
My advice for young people is if you stay ready then you don’t have to get ready.
If you practice and stay consistent with what you do, then you are ready to grab your opportunities.”