Clyde Frazier Hosts Hoops Clinic for St. Kevin’s Youth

New York Knicks legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier hosted a basketball clinic and signed autographs for the youth of St. Kevin’s parish in Flushing. (Photo: Jim Mancari)

On Saturday, Jan. 7, the St. Kevin Catholic Academy, Flushing, gymnasium was full of “swishing and dishing.”

That’s because New York Knicks legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier was on hand to host a basketball clinic for the youth of the parish. St. Kevin has hosted annual sports clinics with former professional athletes since 2010, and this was the first one back since Bernard King’s clinic in January 2020.

The 77-year-old former point guard, who is currently the color commentator for Knicks coverage on MSG, began the clinic by speaking to the children about his career and the importance of hard work and dedication in achieving their goals and dreams.

The kids and coaches asked him questions about the toughest opponent he faced — Wilt Chamberlain — and his favorite memories — winning the 1970 and 1973 NBA titles. He especially enjoyed talking about Game 7 in 1970, which everyone remembers as the “Willis Reed” game.

However, it was Frazier who turned in a stellar performance with 36 points, 19 assists, seven rebounds, and six steals in what’s been called one of the best Game 7’s of all-time.

Frazier then assisted the St. Kevin basketball coaches in running drills before signing autographs and posing for photos with each of the more than 60 children in attendance, ranging in age from pre-K through eighth grade.

“It was exciting to get things back to normal and get back on track,” said John Bonanno, the St. Kevin’s Youth Guild sports clinic director. “To learn tips from somebody who actually played professional sports is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for these kids.”

Frazier said he was thrilled to see the parishioners come out to support him, considering he’s now been retired for over 40 years.

He showed the kids his two championship rings and told them they can do anything they want if they have the discipline, work ethic, and motivation to do so.

“I never met a pro player and never even saw one,” Frazier said. “The first pro game I ever at- tended was one I played in. I never thought I’d be a pro.”

Growing up as the eldest of nine children in Atlanta, Frazier played college basketball at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He was drafted fifth overall by the Knicks in 1967 and went on to be a seven-time NBA All-Star, four-time All-NBA First Team, and seven-time NBA All-Defensive First Team. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.

“Basketball taught me a lot of other things — discipline, self-respect, teamwork, motivation,” Frazier said. “So even if they don’t make it to the pros, they will have those characteristics of hard work, health and fitness, teamwork, and self-respect you can always use.”

The Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) basketball players were sure to pay attention as Clyde spoke, even though none of them ever saw him play. Just the fact that a Knicks legend was standing in their school’s gym was enough to keep them fully engaged.

“It was great to see him (Frazier) signing autographs and talking about his career,” said Michael Lelia, a power forward on the St. Kevin’s eighth grade boys’ CYO team. “He told us when he was a kid, he never thought he’d make the NBA, but he said if we work hard, we can make any team we want. I want to be an NBA player.”

This annual clinic event with a pro creates sports fans for life, and there’s no doubt Frazier and the Knicks gained some spirited new supporters that day.

Bonanno is available to help organize similar events in the community with sports legends and can be contacted at

Contact Jim Mancari via email at