It's not everyday basketball fans watch an NBA champion return to their local community after his playing days are over and get involved again in so many different ways.
That said, Long Islanders still don't have to look very far to find one of their own giving back to the kids from his hometown so soon. Though he retired in 2010, Claxton is already back home aiming to mentor and guide the potential stars of tomorrow in more ways than one.
For starters, the guard can be found this week hosting the annual Speedy Claxton Skills Academy in Westbury, New York. With his alma-mater, Hofstra University, just minutes away from the camp's location, Claxton couldn't be happier.
"I have all sorts of great memories from growing up around here, man. Just being around my former college teammate Norman Richardson, we were just over here talking about the great times we had during my senior year and his junior year," said Claxton. "He was saying how much fun it was playing with me. We both miss that. Another one of my old teammates, Jay Hernandez, will be here tomorrow too. I'm sure the three of us will sort of just kick it and relive some of the moments that we had."
As Claxton fondly reflects upon some of his finest Hofstra memories, he's now poised to make some new ones as well. This coming season, he'll re-join the Pride as Special Assistant to the Head Coach on the team's coaching staff.
Talking about what such a position will entail, Claxton added, "I'm kind of just going to be learning the college system and the college game. I've been on the NBA level, so I know that aspect of it. But it's a lot different than college is. There are academic and recruiting sides to things that I'll have to learn. That's what I'll be doing this year."
"I'm local," Claxton continued. "This is my time to give back, not only to Hofstra, but the community as well. The community here really backed me, so I'm really happy to be able to give back to them now."
"I not only want to be able to coach these young guys, but also help them each become a better person," the veteran said of his new role. "It won't just be about them becoming better players, but better people as well."
As he perhaps first demonstrates what he has to offer with an even younger generation via his camp session this week, the Long Islander said it was important for him to see the campers develop strong fundaments, like ball-handling, and to avoid any bad habits.
Though he ultimately never went on to don an orange and blue uniform, Claxton said playing for the Knicks would have been a dream come true. Nevertheless, as fellow Long Islander Danny Green's success in the NBA Finals proved, there's plenty of loyalty and fandom to be had from fans across the Big Apple. That makes Claxton quite an easy guy to root for and cheer on as he looks to embark on the step of his career with Hofstra.