Story Summary: The start of the NBA Championship Finals is like Christmas for many NBA basketball fans. Some of the games brightest stars such as LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant, plus Saginaw’s Draymond Green -- and even Flint native JaVale McGee -- will be suiting up for action in the 2017 matchup. In a town of less than 100,000, dozens of high-profile professional athletes have risen to stardom from Flint in the last 30 years. While the professionals take the court, youth basketball stars around the globe watch and draw inspiration from guys on both teams. In Flint, here is a group of young athletes who will be tuned in for the action after likely hitting the blacktop or hardwood themselves. These are the next generation of Flintstones who hope to hoist the golden Larry O’Brien championship trophy someday. This is what the future of basketball looks like in Flint, Michigan.
Caption: "I want to go to a better place to get my family out of here and just come back to help my community," said Carmelo Harris, 13, about his love for the game of basketball. "I hate seeing people going around asking for money, so I want to just help them out when I get older. It just feels good when I'm helping people." Harris is a 5-foot-7 seventh grader at Hamady Middle School. Weighing in at 120 pounds, he plays for Flint Affiliation Heat. His favorite NBA player is Jamal Crawford, and his favorite team is the Oklahoma City Thunder. "A lot of people came out of Flint, like Glen Rice and all the other boxers and talent," he said. "People just don't see it, so I'm here to bring it out and tell the scouts to come down here and see us because we have a lot of teams down here. The kids that are coming up have a lot of talent, too."