Dr. J, Rick Barry school Israeli youth on hoops and life

It was a unusual scene at the HaDar Yosef sports complex in Ramat Gan on Wednesday as NBA hall-of-famers Julius "Dr. J" Erving and Rick Barry led a basketball clinic for more than a hundred ecstatic Israeli kids. "Wow, we got a lot of people out here," Erving observed after he had brought the kids down from the stands and onto the court. Erving and Barry were on a three day goodwill tour in support of the Migdal Ohr Youth Village basketball team, stopping in Ramat Gan with Israeli basketball legend Corky Nelson. The children, not old enough to have seen Dr. J or Barry play, came dressed in their own basketball jerseys, with a few wearing current NBA jerseys. The clinic ran like a typical summer basketball camp, with the exception being the men in charge were some of the greatest players in the history of the sport. Israeli hoops star Tal Brody was also on hand for the event. "The clinic was good, probably more kids than we are use to dealing with at one time, so we sacrificed a bit of the quality to include as many kids as possible," Erving said afterwards. After stretches and a defensive drill, which had Erving diving on the ground with the youngsters, the players led layup and perimeter shooting drills for the majority of the clinic. Throughout the drills, Dr. J gave the kids a variety of pointers and loads of encouragement. "We are going to learn how to share the ball," Erving boomed as they ran through the drills. But it wasn't only tips and advice from the NBA stars that those in attendance were treated to. Dr. J got his game face on, mixing it up with kids and playing D as they attempted to score on one of the greatest players of the game. Towards the end, the children gathered around to watch Barry demonstrate his "five fundamentals of shooting" and how he shoots free throws. "I am going to shoot them how I shot them, which no one does anymore," Barry said, referring to his famous underhand style. Continuing a pleasant stroll down memory lane, Barry told the crowd he never wanted to see Erving coming at him on a fast break. "I didn't want to become some poster child, with Dr. J dunking over me," Barry said. "He can say that now, but he wouldn't say that when we were playing. He was too competitive." Erving retorted. Erving, who is on his third trip to Israel, mused afterwards about his latest visit here. "Pretty good - it's a short visit but it's a goodwill visit and we can get a lot done in 72 hours," Erving told The Jerusalem Post. Erving said he has been trying to stay focused on being supportive of Migdal Ohr while keeping out of the politics of the region. But it wasn't all basketball and ambassador duties for the group, who met with President Shimon Peres on Wednesday. "We covered Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and Caesarea, and the Galilee," Erving said. Despite having seen a large portion of the country, Erving didn't have a favorite place to be. "It's interesting to observe but I haven't come to be judgmental of anything. The total experience is enjoyable for me," he reflected.