VANCOUVER - A group of young NBA fans got a lesson from some of the best.

The B.C. kids spent time on the court with NBA legends Kenny "The Jet" Smith and Tim Hardaway Sr. in Vancouver Wednesday.

Smith, a sports commentator and former NBA point guard, and Hardaway, a retired NBA point guard, met with 60 budding ballers who are part of the Basketball BC program.

Earlier in the day, Bell hosted another camp with Smith and the WNBA's Natalie Achonwa, open to members of the Boys and Girls Clubs.

The evening was advertised as focused on team building and skills training, as well as a lesson in financial literacy from sponsor Tangerine Bank, but the kids got a special surprise at the end.

They were gifted with tickets to an NBA Canada Series game.

The pint-sized athletes jumped and cheered when they learned they'd be watching the LA Clippers take on the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.

The kids will be there to cheer on Kawhi Leonard, the former "King of the North," as he returns to Canada months after leaving the Toronto Raptors.

Leonard helped lead the Raps to victory in June, but left a short time later to play in his hometown of Los Angeles.

He made his debut earlier this month in L.A., scoring seven points and six assists during the 11 minutes he played.

At a news conference Thursday, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Kawhi will be on the court during the Vancouver game.

"I don't know how much, but he's definitely playing tonight," Rivers said.

The game at Rogers Arena is expected to draw a crowd, including a dedicated group of Vancouver Grizzlies fans who plan to rally outside. They hope their demonstration will show investors there's enough support to bring an NBA team back to Canada's West Coast. 

With files from The Canadian Press