Chris Duhon begins two weeks of giving to hometown Slidell
Shortly after Chris Duhon arrived Saturday at the Oak Harbor Golf Club in Slidell, he greeted the participants involved in his first charity golf tournament.
For Duhon, it is all about giving back to his hometown of Slidell. Besides his charity golf tournament, his foundation sponsored a dinner for VIP participants and sponsors of the event. Starting Monday, he will host his basketball camp.
Duhon is a former star basketball player at Salmen High School and played collegiately at Duke. He is entering his sixth year in the NBA and was the New York Knicks' starting point guard this past season.
In August 2005, Duhon established a foundation to aid his hometown, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
"This is where it started for me," Duhon said. "People who helped me get to where I am. As much as I can do, I just want the kids to have the same opportunity as I have. That's my main focus."
The list of participants at his golf event include some of his former classmates at Salmen, friends and local business personnel and others who just wanted to do their part to help what Duhon is trying to establish.
"He remembers where he came from, he appreciates the people that helped him along the way," said Salmen Coach Jay Carlin, who coached Duhon and will help conduct his basketball camp.
For most of the tournament, Duhon rode in a golf cart and greeted the participants. But on the eighth hole, playing with former Duke point guard Jay Williams, whose NBA career was shortened when he fractured his pelvis and severed a main nerve in his leg, Duhon stroked a beautiful swing that sent the ball soaring on the straightaway.
"Chris has always been there for me," Williams said. "When I was at Duke he was wheeling me around in the wheelchair. It's funny when I first came to Duke, Coach Mike Krzyzewski said we're going to be family and be brothers for life. You hear somebody say that, but you don't think about it. Chris is all about giving back."
Duhon's mother, Vivian Harper, helped coordinate the event and greeted participants as they arrived before getting on the course to compete.
"My mom raised me to be respectful of others and also be thankful for the position that I am in," Duhon said. "There's a lot of people that had the talent and the opportunity, but for whatever reason didn't make it.
"I've been blessed to have great coaches, Coach Carlin, Coach K and even Scott Skiles in Chicago, guys who did it the right way and talked great values. That's how I tried to live my life by playing the game respect it."