Watch: Wichita boy wins $200 from his NBA hero by sinking three-pointer
For the last money shot at the Buddy Hield Camp on Monday at the Wichita Sports Forum, $100 would be at stake for the camper who could make a three-pointer from the top of the arc.
With nearly 100 local kids, ages ranging from 6 to 16, every hand shot into the air when the time came to pick the shooter. After a quick scan, the former Oklahoma scoring sensation picked Ryan Cary, a 10-year-old from Wichita who was wearing Hield's Sacramento Kings No. 24 jersey.
Before Cary shot, Hield slipped a $100 bill from his pocket to double the prize money.
Cary responded by draining the three-pointer to win the money, setting off a wild celebration among the campers and Hield.
"He better hit it, he had the jersey on," Hield joked afterward. "He was confident and stepped up and made the shot. It was a lot of pressure, but he likes the big moment."
"That's a memory he'll probably have the rest of his life," Sunrise Academy coach Luke Barnwell said. "Buddy doubled his money and he got to take home $200. So he got his entry fee back and then some. He had himself a heck of a day."
For the second straight summer, Hield returned to Wichita to host a camp in the city where he developed as a player. Hield moved from the Bahamas to Wichita in 2010 and played his junior and senior seasons of high school at Sunrise Academy in Bel Air.
He has such fond memories of Wichita that Hield, who is entering his third year in the NBA with the Kings, still makes it a priority to return every summer.
"It's always humbling to come back to where I started," Hield said. "I'm very thankful for what the whole Sunrise family did for me, so it's always great to come back and give back to the kids."
Although Hield did not play for Barnwell at Sunrise (he played for Kyle Lindsted, who moved on to become a Wichita State assistant and recently left to join Minnesota's staff), he feels connected to the program.
He even flies Barnwell out to the Bahamas to help coordinate his summer camp there.
"I've spent enough time with him and I've worked with him enough to know why he is where he is," Barnwell said. "There's not a day that goes by in practice where I don't point to him and what he does and why he is where he is to our guys (at Sunrise). We would not be where we're at without a guy like Buddy. He's definitely on the Mount Rushmore for us."
Hield gives words of wisdom to Sunrise's elite players when he's back, but he enjoys spending time with the kids at his camp the most.
"Just interacting with them and playing 1 on 1," Hield said. "They think they can stop me, so that's a good challenge. And when they score on me, they get all hyped up. It's always good to put smiles on their faces."
Barnwell said it's not a facade. Hield genuinely cares.
"Maybe at some camps guys are putting on, they only show up to take pictures and then leave," Barnwell said. "But Buddy was here this morning at 9 a.m. He really cares about the city and he really cares about Sunrise.
"The Bahamas is home, but Wichita is home away from home."
After being traded to the Kings midway through his rookie season, Hield has taken off in Sacramento. He averaged 13.5 points on 43-percent three-point shooting and figures to play a key role in the organization's rebuilding efforts.
But on Monday, Hield was able to experience the joy of being a kid again.
"I just miss how young I was," Hield said. "Back when I always looked forward to seeing someone come into town and playing with them, just being around them, and spending some time with them. That goes a long ways for kids."