Lawrence “Cliff” Ghoram likes to give back, and the Rice University and Texas A&M alumnus will be doing just that when he returns to his hometown of Zachary on Dec. 26 to host a basketball clinic at Copper Mill Elementary School for area children.

A former Bronco basketball player, Ghoram grew up in a community that he says put such a strong emphasis on education.

“I have always understood the importance of giving back even from a young age when I volunteered to coach upward basketball while attending ZHS,” Ghoram said. “Since then, I’ve been fortunate to use sports as a platform to obtain a better education, and now I feel obliged to give back.”

As a boy, Ghoram said he looked up to basketball standouts like Kedrick Brown and Jamar McKnight, both Zachary natives who went on to play professionally.

“They both shared with me their vision of giving back in order to inspire the next generation. All three of us have been fortunate to continue to do so through coaching, mentoring and speaking to youth,” said Ghoram. “Zachary teachers like Mrs. Sheryl Moore and Mr. Dewey Davis encouraged me as a young kid. My high school coach, Martin Poche, and then-coaches Carl Snowden and Louis Banks have been positive role models to me, as well.”

Ghoram knows that developing good basketball skills are important to becoming a better player but is confident he can improve players’ skills if he or she is willing to learn.

In 2013, Ghoram formed Grow Elite Basketball, a training and youth mentoring business based in Houston.

“I started Grow Elite with the vision of making a positive difference in youths lives through basketball,” explained Ghoram. “Myself, Kedrick and Jamal encourage continuous learning inside and outside the classroom by helping others to grow as individuals in order to become elite players, students and leaders on and off the court. Essentially, we inspire and grow future leaders.”

Grow Elite Basketball clinics are for those who want to improve their basketball skills and reach their most elite level possible.

To do so, Ghoram believes that children need to be encouraged on topics that can be applied in life as well as in sports.

“Look, not everyone is able to make it to the NBA, I know that; but everyone is able to use sports to learn valuable lessons and become a better person. We cover topics such as leadership, self-discipline and the importance of helping others. We speak to the character of an individual,” Ghoram said.

Participants ages 7 to 14 are invited to attend. The clinic, set from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., will focus on basketball fundamentals, defensive and offensive drills, ball-handling, shooting drills, passing and fun small-group and team competitions.

Also, a few special guests are scheduled to speak to the clinic participants.

Cost to attend is $30 per person. To preregister, visit www.growelitebasketball.com. For information, email cliff.ghoram@gmail.com or call (225) 324-3845.