My story for inner-city stewardship hits close to home.
I grew up in a “basketball house” in the inner city.
The men in my extended family played basketball.
They were disciplined, determined and successful.
They were my role models.
They also taught me more than the game of basketball.
They taught me about life.
At first glance, basketball seems simple and straightforward.
With further examination, however, I came to realize that
basketball represents all of life’s important challenges and outcomes.
It was a wise choice. Without the structure of basketball in my life, the outcome of my personal development may have been very different.
Situations on life’s journey are the same situations in a basketball game. “Use the game - don’t let the game use you!” was a statement made by my basketball camp mentor, Clyde Tuner. That statement became my mantra.
The basketball culture has taken me places that wouldn't have been possible if I'd have made that other choice. I choose basketball from the 2nd grade to the semi-pros - which included working out with the Timberwolves in the summers. The majority of people I looked up to played basketball, including those former basketball “stars” that fell short of their dreams.
Sadly, after their basketball careers had ended, many of those "stars" did not live up to their potential in life. With no backup plan and no direction, those former standout all-stars turned to the streets to fill the void of lost dreams and to find a sense of
belonging. Others did not turn to the streets, but are now working in unfulfilling, unchallenging, underpaid jobs.
The FAB Program was established as a community service - a preventative measure program that guides under-represented inner city youth and helps them make critical, life-changing choices at a very early age.
It is clear that basketball has altered my path in life in a very positive way.
Now it's time to pay-it-forward. The Neighborhood Youth Adademy and the FAB Program offer positive-outcome opportunities for our youth,while reinforcing accountability, responsibility, and purpose.
By maximizing existing resources in the community and by creating the opportunity for personal development and self-empowerment, we can “catch” these young kids at a critical time in their lives - when they are most impressionable.
Please join me. We can make a difference.