Players young and growing hone basketball skills under watch of NBA star in Port Arthur

Published 12:28 am Sunday, July 30, 2023

Ernest Dugas and brothers Emmuel Dugas and Kayden Brown showed up to the Kenneth Lofton Jr. Basketball Camp ready to hone their skills.

“I want to get better at basketball,” Ernest Dugas, 11, said.

Emmanuel Dugas, 12, wants to have fun and get better at basketball, while Kayden Brown, 8, is ready to learn the game.

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Brown is a basketball fan already. His favorite players are LeBron James and Steph Curry, he said.

Local businessman Faddi Aref brought his son. Zayne, 5, to the camp as well as two nephews.

“We are definitely appreciative of the opportunity,” Faddi Aref said while waiting for Zayne to get a photo taken with Lofton Jr. “He’s an NBA player coming back to his hometown, teaching these young kids and giving them somebody to look up to. We really appreciate it.”

READ MORE — NBA’s Kenneth Lofton Jr. returns to Port Arthur with basketball camp

Kids and parents filed into the high school gym, where they first went to the registration table and were given a basketball camp T-shirt.

Kids from across the area and out of state attended the daylong camp.

Conrad Graves came in from Arkansas.

“I’m trying to learn how to be more active in the paint and how to score close to the basket,” said Graves, 13. “Because I’m already really good at shooting mid-range and three pointers but I need to get better in the paint.”

The kids lined up in their age groups and took part in different stations working on different skills.