The NBA made its way to the Capital City on Monday morning in the way of former NBA big man Enes Freedom, formerly known as Enes Kanter, coming to host a free basketball clinic and share one special message.

“My first message to them I want them to know how beautiful of a country that they live in, you know, and that there are checks and balances, and rules and laws, and freedom,” Freedom said during his camp.

Freedom isn’t free. That’s something Enes takes so seriously that he legally changed his last name to Freedom as part of the fight for human rights in his home country of Turkey, and across the world.

“We always talk about don’t just talk about it be about it,” Freedom said. “It is important to just come here and actually show the kids what freedom is all about.”

The NBA veteran earned his American citizenship in November after being condemned by the Turkish government for years.

In February, he was waived from the Houston Rockets. That’s something he believes is an attempt to appease the Chinese government that he has spoken out against. The NBA denies Freedom has been blacklisted from the league.

Shortly after being released, he met North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer, and just weeks later he hit the court for this camp.

“You know what really attracts me, and what has attracted a lot of people to Enes is that his message is one that is universal, so it’s really great to have him come out here,” Cramer said.

Freedom hasn’t put the possibility of returning to the NBA behind him yet, but for now, he’s focusing on using his platform to impact people of all ages, and hoping he can inspire them through the game of basketball.

“He’s got a mission and a message that he wants to share throughout the country and he’s bold about proclaiming that message,” Cramer said.

Freedom’s impact will spread throughout the state this week as he visits with athletes, city leaders and students. It’s a trip that won’t be forgotten any time soon.

“To actually get a player of Enes’ stature, and where he’s been with his career, to talk to them and just to have fun with them in the gym is great,” basketball skills coach Mark Kinnebrew said.

Freedom is having fun while doing his part to show the next generation that Freedom isn’t free.

“All I care about is one day becoming our age they won’t face the same problems we are facing right now,” Freedom said. “Obviously our country and our world are going through some very rough times, and they are going to be the ones who can change this world.”