Norfolk, Va. - Former Old Dominion star Kent Bazemore is back in his college town this weekend. But his bank account looks quite a bit different than it did when he was the two-time CAA Defensive Player of the Year for the Monarchs.
Earlier this month, Bazemore signed a new four-year contract with the Atlanta Hawks. The deal will reportedly pay him $70 million.
"My level of focus is sharpened," Bazemore said to News 3, when speaking about his new contract. "I'm definitely more motivated than I've ever been. I have aspirations to be an all-star in this league, a superstar one day."
In 2012, ESPN.com pegged Bazemore 499th in its rankings of the Top 500 NBA players. The 6' 5" guard hasn't forgotten about that list.
"499 is definitely my staple," Bazemore said. "I still hang on to it. Some of the guys I came into the NBA with say 'You're definitely not 499 anymore.' It keeps me grounded. It keeps me humble. It reminds me of where I came from."
An over-sized "499" is emblazoned on the t-shirts worn by instructors and campers at Bazemore's basketball camp.
Bazemore, who recently concluded his fourth NBA season, is back in Norfolk to host the Kent Bazemore Basketball Camp at Norfolk Collegiate School - a feature event for his ARMS Foundation. Bazemore established ARMS in 2012 as a way to give back to the community.
The Foundation’s mission is to develop and operate programs, activities, and facilities, namely recreational sports programs and basketball camps aimed at increasing the health status of children and young adult, wherever located, and/or benefiting underprivileged, less fortunate, and/or distressed children and young adults, wherever located.