Former WNBA Player helps kids follow their dreams in the community

ABERDEEN, Miss. (WCBI) – Former WNBA player and Starkville Native April Sykes is bringing it back home.

Sykes is in Aberdeen offering basketball lessons to kids today and tomorrow.

April Sykes has been to the top of her sport, but she started out in a small town that gave her a lot of support.

Now, she wants to show young people that even though they may start out small, they can still finish big.

She’s showcased her skills in some of the biggest arenas in the country, but this weekend Starkville native and former WNBA star April Sykes is *sharing* those skills a little closer to home.

Sykes is in Aberdeen to help young players sharpen their skills and get a look at what they can be.

“I’m big on community and giving kids an opportunity to experience something they probably have never experienced before from somebody that’s from this area and give them something to hope and dream for in the future,” said Sykes.

Sykes wants to show these young players that just because you start small, it doesn’t mean you can’t dream and achieve big.

“It’s nothing for me to come home and show a kid that you can come from this area and say oh small town, you don’t have this you don’t have that. That’s not true. We don’t have the resources. But we do and we just have to instill it in the kids and give them the chance to see someone like myself,” said Sykes.

Sykes says she grew up with her community cheering her on and now she wants to support the community that she grew to love.

“I remember when I was in high school and the energy was different. People were getting off early to go to my games and it was important to me to try and bring that back to the community even though sports isn’t everything it gives you a sense of hope. It gives you a sense of community and a sense of teamwork,” said Sykes.

Mayor of Aberdeen, Charles Scott, even came to watch the great things that Sykes is doing to give back to the community and he says he is proud to see kids in the area strive for great success.

“What I’m most proud about is that if you bring the right person into the community. People come miles around to be there and to get part of that training that she’s going to provide . This is about expectation and they are coming here to work on what it takes to reach their expectation,” said Mayor Scott.

Sykes says she is now working with the NBA and head coaching for an Atlanta School but she says that she will be back and plans to do this at least once a year.

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