VU's all-time leading scorer uses basketball to reach out to kids

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 9:00pm

Early next month, Shan Foster will try to get his professional basketball career back on track.

First, though, the former Vanderbilt All-American hopes to help put local youngsters on the right path.

Through the Shan Foster Foundation, he is staging a celebrity basketball game that will feature current and former players from the NBA and the NFL. The event will be held 4 p.m., May 22 at University School of Nashville.

“My focus is to work with kids from single-parent homes,” Foster said. “We’ve done events in New Orleans, which is where I’m from, and now I want to get involved here as well.”

Foster, Vanderbilt’s all-time leading scorer who was raised almost exclusively by his mother, will offer a keynote address at halftime.

Among those scheduled to participate are Corey Brewer, John Henderson, Earl Bennett, Kevin Dyson and D.J. Moore.

After being named the 2008 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, Foster was a second-round draft pick (51st overall) of the Dallas Mavericks. Following an appearance with that franchise’s summer league team, his rights were optioned to a team in Italy. He also has played in Turkey.

He spent the early part of 2010 recovering from a foot injury and now once again has set his sights on trying to make it in the NBA.

“The Mavericks still own my rights and the first week of June I’m going to go back down there to play in the summer league,” he said. “Hopefully, that will lead to something more.

“It’s a blessing that I’ve been able to experience some of the things that I’ve been able to, and that I’ve been able to take my family some of the place that I have. … I also have the opportunity to share the benefit of my experiences with children, and that’s what I want to do.”

Tickets for the event, which will be conducted in conjunction with the Murfreeboro-based Byron De’Vinner Foundation, are $10, but the first 100 through the door will be admitted at half-price. Doors will open at 3:15 p.m.