A Porterville youth has won a spot to participate in the Jet Academy Virtual Basketball Camp.

Kristian Avila, 14, a student at Summit Charter Intermediate Academy, won the spot through an essay contest sponsored by the Tulare County Sheriff's Office.

The Jet Academy Virtual Basketball Camp was started by Kenny Smith, the well-know commentator on Inside The NBA, who also won two NBA titles while playing for the Houston Rockets in 1994 and 1995.

Avila plays with the Sheriff's Office 6-Point Stars traveling basketball team. Members of the team had the chance to compete for a spot at the Jet Academy Virtual Basketball Camp by writing a 2-page, college style essay about one of three professional basketball players who teach in the camp. Avila wrote about Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young, one of his favorite players.

The Sheriff’s 6-Point Stars traveling basketball players aren’t getting much game these days during the Pandemic but they are getting challenged academically.

Correctional Deputy Kendra Snowden, who coaches the girls 6-Point Stars traveling basketball team, let Avila know he won.

“It was really good to give them a college experience because most of our athletes want to go to college but they don’t know what it takes to get there,” she said. “The Sheriff is big on building bridges. Well, how do you build those bridges? Well, you make sure you show them what you had to do so that they’d know how to get across that bridge as well.”

Sheriff Mike Boudreaux recognized Avila for his winning essay. “You’re going to be an inspiration,” Sheriff Boudreaux said. ”Look at this young man who’s doing the right thing, who’s doing good things, serving his community and representing in a positive way. What a fantastic thing. We’re proud of you.”

Kristian thanked the Sheriff for the opportunity to play on the 6-Point Stars traveling basketball team, serve his community and represent the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

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