When Knicks rookie guard Iman Shumpert showed up to bowl in support of John Starks’ Foundation in February, he did it because he has developed something special with the fans of New York and wanted to give back in anyway that he can.
“It’s great. Coming out here and just seeing the smiles, so many Knick fans around the city. Ever since day one since I got here, it’s been nothing but love from New York. Just being able to come out and here and give back,” Shumpert told John Starks, who was conducting interviews for Class Act Sports.
Shumpert is just 21 himself, and understands the importance of the scholarships that Starks’ Foundation provides to the kids.
“Anything for kids, anything for charity. I am always down to do it. It brings smiles to anybody’s faces. I like to smile and have fun. Being able to bowl is fun for me. You know you are my dude, so I gotta come through for you!” Shumpert said, talking to Starks.
Shumpert has played in 46 games this season for the Knicks, making 22 starts. He is averaging 9.8 points, 2.8 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. He was selected to be in the Dunk Contest at this years All-Star game, but was injured.
He has been the Knicks best defender this season, something that Starks took note of.
“When you have young players like Iman who understands what his role is, not only with the team but within the community, that means so much. Keep doing what you doing, because it brings a smile to my face when I see you out there playing. Playing with heart- that’s the kind of guy I was, and you exemplify that because you need that on a team. I tell people you are a shutdown defender,” Starks told Shumpert.
Starks, who led the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1994, thinks Shumpert can do the same.
“Championship this year, believe it or not!” Starks said.
“We’re gonna go get it!”
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