Former NBA player starts travel basketball team in Southern West Virginia

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)– Tamar Slay is a former NBA player from the City of Beckley. He played professional basketball for 12 years.

Slay came home and teamed up with the Nabors brothers, an organization in Southern West Virginia, and Monty Wright to start a basketball team. On Sunday, March 21, 2021, kids tried out for the team at the Memorial Baptist Church in Beckley.

“What we have here is fifth grade tryouts and we have seventh grade tryouts for the Under Armour Tournaments that they have, which is one of the best tournaments in country,” Slay said.

Slay was drafted to the New Jersey Nets before playing for the Charlotte Hornets.

Currently, Slay is managing two teams in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is building two teams here in Beckley. He said he wants to give these kids the opportunity to live out their dreams.

“We were some of the few that made it out of Division I, NBA, and I feel like it is my responsibility and duty to come back and share some of the knowledge of the game of basketball,” Slay continued.

Slay said many of the kids in Beckley never traveled outside of the community. By giving these kids this opportunity, he hopes it offers them the chance to travel and tests their basketball skills.

“It is an opportunity for these kids to give themselves a measure stick to see how good they really are. A lot of times kids don’t travel outside of this area and they think they’re pretty good and they go to the big city and they get their eyes opened up a little bit and that’s what you need you want to know exactly where you are,” Slay said.

Slay said the main goal of his program is to build future leaders on and off the courts. Slay said he wants to continue to grow his teams.

While right now, he is coaching fifth and seventh graders, he wants to include older and younger students and even start a girls team. For more information about what the team is doing or their future plans, you can head over to his website.

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