Here’s how Luke Kennard is thanking his hometown for their support

Luke Kennard is returning to the area this summer to pay back those who supported him throughout his illustrious basketball career at Franklin High School.

After a press conference at Atrium Medical Center where it was announced that Premier Health is partnering with Kennard and Win The Next One to present the Luke Kennard Overnight Basketball Camp, Kennard talked about how the Franklin community — and the entire region — followed him.

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So when Kennard, who now plays for the Detroit Pistons, decided to attach his name to a youth basketball camp, it was important for the event to be in the Franklin area, he said.

“Growing up here, playing sports here, they were so good to me,” Kennard said. “They allowed me to be who I am today. People around here are so supportive of me. I have the most supportive community, hometown in the entire NBA. Not only are the campers going to learn a lot of basketball skills and lessons from the coaches and me personally, they are going to learn life lessons I’ve experienced as a basketball player as well.”

The camp will be held July 20-22 at Camp Chautauqua in Miamisburg, and is open to boys and girls entering grades four through seven in the 2018-2019 school year.

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With the support of Premier Health and Kennard, the camp can provide up to 200 participants two nights and three days worth of a professional basketball camp experience, said Brian Bales, director of the camp’s hosting organization, WTNO.

“Southwest Ohio has a special place in Luke’s heart and he is looking forward to helping run his first camp back home,” said Bales, who is also the athletic director at Franklin Schools and the high school boys basketball coach.

Throughout the camp, Luke Kennard and WTNO coaches will offer hands-on instruction, including lectures, fundamental basketball skills, contests, and games, Bales said. Campers will be placed in small groups by age to ensure each child gets maximum instruction, he said. The camp will be staffed by high school basketball coaches and Premier Health athletic trainers.

Michael Uhl, president of Atrium, said the hospital was excited to partner with “a high-caliber athlete” such as Kennard.

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While a student athlete at Franklin High School, Kennard was named the Ohio Gatorade Basketball Player of the Year as a junior and senior and was named the Parade National Player of the Year his senior season.

After two seasons at Duke University, where his playing time and production increased every game, Kennard declared for the NBA Draft and was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the 12th overall pick. As a rookie, he played in 73 games with nine starts. He averaged 7.6 points, 1.7 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game.

Some questioned whether Kennard should have stayed at Duke for at least one more season before turning pro after his sophomore year. But the 6-foot-5, 200-pounder said he has no regrets about leaving early.

“I thought it was the right decision for me at the time,” he said. “I think I had a great rookie season. There were some ups and downs. There is a lot that I have learned and I think next year will be even better.”

For more information about the camp, click here.

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