James Harden's big week winds down with Westbrook talk, grilling by kids

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- James Harden is having a big week.

As the Houston Rockets' captain, the former NBA MVP officially welcomed into the fold his former teammate in Oklahoma City and someone he has known since he was 10, Russell Westbrook.

By Thursday afternoon, Harden was officially known as an owner of the Houston Dynamo, Houston Dash and BBVA Stadium.

RELATED: James Harden joins Houston Dynamo and Dash ownership group

So how did the superstar athlete wind down the week? He did it by surprising kids from the Greater Houston Police Activities League with a shopping spree and invitations to his yearly basketball camp.

WATCH: Kids grill James Harden on whether his stepback is traveling, and more
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Houston Rockets star James Harden got to get grilled by kids inside an Academy store as part of his community outreach to Houston area youth.



The mentor program unites Houston police and children in the community to encourage a positive relationship with law enforcement.

"Some of them come from disadvantaged areas and stuff, and having positive influences, such as sports figures and police officers, because we know a lot of the negative press that the police officers get - we try to encourage the youth that we are human," said mentor HPD Officer Darrell Elzy.

Surprising the kids at Academy in Upper Kirby, Harden took time to answer the kids' questions, including what he thinks about his old, new teammate Westbrook.

"Oh man, I am excited," Harden answered.

"I asked him what inspired him to play basketball, and he said a lot of stuff inspired him, and he like was telling us stories like about this kid who was making three-pointers," said 11-year-old Denise Espinoza, who dreams of playing in the WNBA one day.

As for what the kids took home, Harden gifted them with a $200 Adidas shopping spree, an autographed pair of Harden Vol. 3 sneakers, and free admission to his annual James Harden Procamp this weekend.

"I am probably just going to wear (his sneakers) at school like every single day," Espinoza added.

"It's priceless, the looks on their faces...and to be able to give them some kicks for the camps and for themselves," Harden said. "I mean, it's exciting. This is what we do it for."

As for the shift to the new Rockets lineup, Harden said he's looking forward to what Westbrook brings to a roster that remains relatively intact.

SEE ALSO: 'Russ wasn't happy': James Harden speaks on Russell Westbrook Rockets trade

"It's that trust factor," Harden said of his prior chemistry with the superstar point guard. "I trust him. He trusts me...Obviously, with the group the way we have, and the things we already accomplished, it should be an easy transition for him."

You can watch what he told the Houston media on Friday in the video below.

FULL VIDEO: James Harden on Westbrook trade being official and NBA free agency
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Houston Rockets star James Harden reacts to the Russell Westbrook trade to the team and leaving a mark on the city.



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