Kim English ran around the gym at Parkway North High School shouting and smiling among 70 kids and seemingly having the time of his life.

This was Tuesday the final session of his two-day basketball youth camp at the school and English was determined to make it count. By the time it was all over and English was finished answering questions and signing autographs for the campers the former Missouri Tiger was thrilled.

“It was something I always wanted to do just give back to kids” English said. “Baltimore is obviously where I'm from but Missouri is the place I view as home. This will be home the rest of my life. When I'm done playing I'll live here hopefully coach here. I just really wanted to take youth basketball in Missouri to another level.”

It's been a busy year for English who has spent the last year playing for the NBA's Detroit Pistons. But once the Pistons' season came to a close in April English — who called this the most important offseason of his career — still found the time to host five co-ed camps for kids in grade 3 through 12 throughout the state of Missouri.

“In Chillicothe we had 90 kids Columbia we had 117 Kansas City had 150 Springfield had 140 and this one had 70” English said. “I expected about 80 kids at each with this being the first year.”

English however said he was not surprised by the strong turnout overall especially at his camp in Kansas City which was held at Lee's Summit West.

“Kansas City is so good to Mizzou” English said. “If there's anything Missouri that touches Kansas City Mizzou fans will flock to it. That's why I love Kansas City so much just because of that undying love.”

Aside from working his camps however English 24 has been preoccupied with working on his game. After averaging 2.9 points in 41 games for the Pistons last season he was released earlier this month the team decided to bring back 2004 NBA Finals MVP and team icon Chauncey Billups a guard on a two-year deal.

English who was playing with the Pistons' summer-league team in Orlando at the time he was released said Pistons general manager Joe Dumars went out of his way to break the news to him personally.

“He was in Detroit for Josh Smith's press conference and did not have to fly all the way back down to Orlando but he did” English said. “He came back down and told me they signed Chauncey and that it was a numbers deal — he had the 15th spot (on the roster).”

English said he thanked Dumars for the opportunity — he spent most of last season picking the NBA Hall-of-Famer's brain — and promptly began working toward continuing his basketball career using the news of his release as fresh motivation.

“In my life I need motivation” English said. “Sometimes I search for it. Sometimes I read message boards and look at Twitter and look at slights in the media and it just takes me to another level so this was great for me. I view it as a blessing…it definitely gave me a new chip on my shoulder to prove myself all over again.”