The Young3 President and former Chicago Bull, Jerome "Junkyard Dog" Williams made another trip to Chicago to host a Young3 event along with his staff. As the Young3 tours continues, more and more lives continue to be impacted according to Champions Basketball Network reporter, Liam Blutman.
The Young3 traveled to Chicago, Illinois to give back to the youth with some life lessons and fun via basketball. It was a solid turnout here in Chicago at the Union League Boys & Girls Club as about 90+ kids participated in today’s events. The action was non-stop and the energy felt inside the gym was constantly positive. Jerome Williams was so happy to be back in Chicago and said the following: “It’s great to be in Chicago, a city where I played professional basketball. These kids brought the energy as only Chi-Town can!” It was truly a fantastic camp and here’s what went down at today’s Young3 experience.
The Young3 coaches educating the youngsters today were: Jerome Williams, Johnnie Williams, Charles “Choo” Smith, Eric “Broadway” Jones, Kevin Whitted, Erin Thorn, James “Hollywood” Robinson, Desmon Farmer, LaTasha Washington, Lamar Lundy, Bryan Burrell, and Liam Blutman. It was pretty cool to have Choo’s son, CJ ball out in today’s Young3 experience. He and Jerome’s son, Jeremiah were phenomenal all day as they won a Young3 championship and rained down from 3-point land. Choo stated, “It was great to see my son CJ participate in today’s camp. It’s incredible for him to be around other professional athletes and our Young3 family, he was able to learn how to play like a pro. And he learned life lessons today like, being selfless, disciplined, and understanding that hard work and dedication can separate you from everything. And that’s what the Young3 experience is all about... Passion, Service, and Legacy. Today was truly a beautiful experience for my son and I.” How about the Young3 coaches shootout this week? Desmon and Hollywood went up against Erin and Jerome and it was a chaotic contest to say the least as it appeared that Des and Hollywood had won by making it to four 4’s first. But as they celebrated with all the kids that chose them to win, controversy erupted amongst the joyous cheers from the other side. Erin and Jerome protested the win, stating that they deserved a chance to match as they shot 2nd all contest long. A fair point which led to Erin sinking a four and sending the contest into a tie. Yes, a tie. No winning coach(es) this week when talking about the 4-point shootout. But... Erin, Hollywood, and Desmon did assert their dominance in a few 3 on 3 games against some fortunate members of the young campers. The trio of coaches messed around with flashy passes, nifty dribble moves, and deep threes and fours en route to winning two games against the kids. As expected the coaches won, but the importance of these games were to give kids the opportunity to actually play against professional players and have a fun time. Something the Young3 is all about, having fun.
Shoutout to Ghost Ballers very own, Mike Taylor for taking time out of his day to give back to the youth. (He’ll be hosting a camp in Milwaukee this Sunday, be sure to check it out!) After Mike took some time to sign autographs and take pictures, I asked him a few questions about the Young3 and in particular, the youth. Mike states that, “It’s very important for professional basketball players to make an impact in the community, it’s not often that you can meet somebody famous as a young boy or girl and that can be your inspiration to follow your dreams! I know that for me personally, meeting professional players when I was a kid and sitting in that Milwaukee Bucks locker room gave me a vision to the dream I had. It’s a pivotal role in a kids life to meet an athlete, for me I didn’t have a father and I like many other kids looked up to celebrities, and this is why I try to support as many events for the kids that I can!” Kids, pay close attention to what Mike said and never give up on your dreams! When I asked Mike about the Young3 experience he said, “The Young3 is great, JYD is doing a great job, he and I both have that energy factor, to have these kind of guys educating the youth is incredible.” I finished our interview by asking Mike about the importance of going out in the community and making a positive impact as a professional basketball player. To that Mike exclaimed, “It’s everything to me, I too have a non-profit organization, the TaylorMade foundation. It’s really everything for me, growing up I never had a professional player come into my neighborhood and help us. Like this is everything to me, I truly love it. I’m just trying to give these kids inspiration, motivation, and a blueprint on how to make it out of the conditions they were forced into... poverty.” Strong and wise words from Mike Taylor, go give him a follow on Instagram @MikeTaylorMade88 and support him while he keeps doing amazing things!
We were pleased to have Diamond Scott observe our Young3 experience today, she spoke upon the camp and just loved everything about it. Here’s a quote from Diamond, “I learned so much about the Young3 in a conversation with Jerome Williams, I decided that I wanted to help, I wanted to be apart of this organization, their mission for the youth. Then, I was fortunate enough to see the Young3 experience, it was everything Jerome talked about and more. To see these kids faces from the littlest to the oldest, smiles and hugs, having fun with Jerome, climbing on his back, it was amazing. I’ve never seen anything like that regarding a celebrity. The love that his team has for their purpose is amazing, not only teaching these kids basketball but educating them as well, sharing inspirational speeches, I think it’s all so phenomenal. It all takes these kids away from the difficulties they might be dealing with in their life. I just believe that the Young3 is priceless, I think that more people should want to be apart of this and help!” Our entire Young3 team appreciates what Diamond has to say, she couldn’t have summed it up any better.
Big ups to the kids of Chicago for thriving in today’s camp. We’ll get to the six members of the Young3 All-Team shortly, but first here’s some quotes from Union League Boys and Girls Club staff members. Edgar Rodriguez Jr. let it be known that, “It’s extremely important for these kids to see professional basketball players give back to the community because... you have kids that see individuals that may come from the same background, individuals who are successful, it gives them a sense of hope and they can eventually strive to do these great things as well.” Then, Marquand Jones stated, “I hope today showed the kids to stay open-minded, always have fun, and that they can do whatever it takes to make it in life.” Last but not least, Alberto Garcia preached, “It’s very important for these kid to see professional players give back because they can see somebody successful who made it out of a situation similar to theirs. They can use that as motivation, it’s a very positive influence. I hope the kids learned to never give up on their dreams today!” Great words from some great people!
Here is your Chicago Young3 All-Team (Follow them on Instagram!)
Jaythan Santiago - @Dripping_Swagg
Leslie Green - @Baller_Les
Willie Merrick - @h.t.Will_
Kayla Porrata - @WhatUpItz._.Kayla
Aunyai Deere - @Aunyai2905
Amazing job boys and girls! Especially Aunyai and Demaje for representing the Deere family by thriving at today’s camp, they sure seem to have a bright future in this great sport.
Thank you so much Chicago, you kids were incredible all day long and kept the energy going from start to finish. That’s hard to do and we commend you for that. It was fun to be in Chicago for a second straight year. Will we be back for a third straight year? Maybe so. But for now, the Young3 is headed to Miami, Florida for a reunion with the youngsters in South Beach.