By: Polli Craig—
Muncie, IN—Pacers legend Darnell Hillman, spoke to the Youth Opportunity Center’s boys basketball teams Tuesday afternoon during practice in the YOC gym. Hillman incorporated life lessons about “old-school” character values like respect for self and others, dedication, accountability, responsibility and commitment, into his motivational talk on Attitude.
The YOC’s recreational and activities program is designed to positively influence YOC youth. Its aim is to promote self-discipline, responsibility, and essential teamwork skills. Teaching these character traits is just one component of the YOC’s multi-faceted behavioral treatment program.
This is Hillman’s second visit to the YOC as part of the Pacers’ community outreach program, Pacers Cares: Give, Share, Inspire. This year he brought the trophy he was awarded (March 2017) for winning the 1977 NBA dunk contest.
Darnell Hillman, aka “Dr. Dunk,” was selected eighth overall in the 1971 ABA Draft and played six seasons for the Pacers. “Indiana was the most dominant team in the 10 years of the ABA, between 1967 and 1976, with Hillman being one of the most popular players. Hillman always performed a wide variety of dunks to attract the kids, and to give them someone to look up to,” according to the Pacers’ website http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/darnellhillman030605html.
The YOC’s kids are no exception. They look-up to Hillman and appreciated the opportunity to hear his talk about overcoming life obstacles and taking charge of one’s own Attitude.
Today, Hillman is associate director, camps, clinics and alumni relations for Pacers Sports & Entertainment. The mission of Pacers Community Relations is to promote the development and well-being of youth and families through Pacers Cares, with a particular focus on Education, Service & Health.
The Youth Opportunity Center (YOC) is a nationally accredited, not-for-profit, juvenile behavioral treatment center. Celebrating 25 years of serving kids, the YOC, in partnership with area agencies, offers a complementary range of services including residential and outpatient counseling, on-grounds accredited school, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), juvenile court, day treatment program, and juvenile detention. The YOC is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) and the American Psychological Association (APA).
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