“People do more when someone else believes they can do more.”
Let me tell you a quick story about a kid named Tristan. He’s one of twelve siblings and lives with his single mother. He, his mother, and sister rent a room at shared living facility in Watts. After watching him quit a basketball game last year because he wasn’t getting the ball, I told him to let me show him something.
Since basketball put me through college I figured I’d show him how to shoot a jump shot. After becoming his coach months later, I found out that he had mostly failing grades and foot problems that lead to pain when he walked. After getting him the medical treatment he needed and changing his mindset about learning, the success was evident.
Now I’m proud to brag about him getting straight A’s. He has also been invited to China to play basketball in the spring. After practice last week he told me, “I don’t want to be the only one on the Hard Way that doesn’t go to a good school.” He’s only 12. Ironically, the next day I received a text saying that Tristan had been accepted to a private school with a full scholarship. Just like all of the kids in our programs, Tristan is going to make it.
“I don’t want to be only one on the team that doesn’t go to a good school.”
— Tristan was 12 years old at time
FOLLOW UP: Through the STEP Foundation, Tristan has earned a full scholarship at a Catholic School that currently takes pride in the fact that 100% of its graduates go on to college.