CAIRO, Ga. (WTXL) — Cliff Hammonds is one of the most decorated basketball players to ever come out of Cairo High School. After starring at Clemson, he's played professionally for the last decade and a half, but he's never forgot where he came from. That's why on Thursday, he came back to the place that helped make him who he is to give back to the kids of Cairo.
"For me to give back to any kid, anyway I can, the way people gave to me when I was coming up through this community," he said. "This is the same way I came up. If I can come up and go play college basketball, be blessed to play professional basketball for a decade plus, you can do the same thing."
For nine years, the Cairo High grad has come back to give back to the community, a skills camp for the local kids.
"He cares about the kids in the community," said Jimmy Jones, a camper at this year's Skillz Camp. "It gives me another opportunity to play again, and get better. "
"Just because you're from a small down doesn't mean you can't do anything," added fellow camper Riley Weaver. "I think you can do anything no matter where you're from."
That message, along with passing along his knowledge of the game, is what Hammonds is trying to do.
"Camps like this is where I started to love the game, along with the influence from my father and my brother," he said. "I want these kids to have the type of day they can have to allow them to love the game so they can strive to play the game to the best of their ability."
A game that's given Hammonds so much.
"I never thought I would learn from a professional, so I'm glad they're doing that for these kids," said Weaver. "I think we need that a lot in this town."
"If you put your mind to it, you learn the skills, you learn the work ethic, and you go day to day on your grind to get it done, you can definitely do it," said Hammonds. "I did it, and I'm just a kid from Cairo."
A kid from Cairo, who's making a difference. Hammonds said he's ready for year 16 of his career professionally, and he has no plans of slowing this camp down in Cairo anytime soon.