In this summer of transition, the past few days have given D.J. Augustin something familiar on which to fall back.
Orleans native and Indiana Pacers point guard D.J. Augustin talks to a camper at his free basketball camp at Brother Martin High School on Wednesday.
Augustin, a recent signee with the Indiana Pacers and a former McDonald's All-American point guard at Brother Martin, returned to his alma mater this week to host his third annual basketball camp.
Augustin, who played his first four seasons in the NBA with the Charlotte Bobcats, was happy to be in familiar territory.
"I spent a lot of time here in the gym with basketball," he said. "I gave a lot of my hard work to Brother Martin, and they gave a lot back to me by giving me a great education. So I feel like it's only right to come back here and have my camp here every year."
The three-day camp, which ended Wednesday, taught children ages 8 to 15 the fundamentals of the game and the value of competition. Augustin, who signed a reported one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Pacers last month, hosted the camp free of charge.
"Growing up for me, I remember days when my mom had to pay for me to go to camp," Augustin said. "I just want to give back to (the kids) by letting them have a free camp. They get to eat lunch for free, so they don't have to worry about that. The ultimate goal is to have those kids, give back and let them have fun for a week."
Augustin won two Class 5A state championships at Brother Martin before Hurricane Katrina, after which he and his family evacuated to a Houston suburb, though he did receive his diploma from Brother Martin in 2006.
He spent two years at the University of Texas, playing with Kevin Durant and earning the Bob Cousy Award as college basketball's top point guard. He was drafted ninth overall by the Bobcats in 2008.
In four years and 142 starts with the Bobcats, Augustin averaged 10.9 points and 4.4 assists.
Charlotte reached the first round of the playoffs once in Augustin's time there before bottoming out last season, when it posted the lowest winning percentage (.106) in the history of the NBA.
After suffering through that abysmal 7-59 season, Augustin likes where he's landed. The Pacers pushed the Miami Heat to six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals before losing to the eventual champion.
"It gets frustrating. It's been frustrating for years, but you've got to stay professional," Augustin said. "It's your job. No matter how frustrating it is, you've got to go to work with a smile on your face and ready to work hard. ...
"Now that I'm in a better place and happy with everything, I'm excited."
Augustin said the Pacers expressed interest before the Bobcats extended the restricted free agent a two-year contract. When Charlotte signed point guard Ramon Sessions on July 12, Augustin requested his release. An hour later, he was a Pacer.
It's the first time he has switched uniforms in his professional career, but he's not worried about the transition.
"It's going to be strange, but I'm a guy where I get along with everybody," Augustin said. "When I get to the gym and get around those guys, I'm going to fit in well, and I think we're going to be a great team this year."
A change of scenery isn't the only transition Augustin is making this offseason. Augustin is set to marry his fianceť, Brandy Harrell, on Saturday.
Also, Augustin is still adjusting to being a father, as the couple welcomed Keiley Augustin less than three months ago.
"She keeps me up all night, but only she can do that and put a smile on my face at 4 in the morning," Augustin said. It's a great feeling."