The National Urban League, National Basketball Retired Players Association, and National Police Athletic League make a triumphant return to the New Orleans, Louisiana Lower 9th Ward
On Saturday, February 15th 2014, Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League along with the National Basketball Retired Players Association, (NBRPA) the National Police Athletic League, (NPAL) and the New Orleans Department of Recreation and the New Orleans Urban League launched the second season of its 14 citywide tour of its newly formed program Full Court Press: Prep for Success.
Full Court Press: Prep for Success is a partnership between the NBRPA, the NPAL and the NUL joining together in an effort to provide youth basketball clinics and life skills workshops as well as presenting on wellness strategies, anti-bullying and anti-violence, crime prevention, anti-inactivity activities. The program is also designed to enhance a student’s critical decision making skills and to place in front of all attendees positive role models, positive thoughts, strategies and approaches to combat negative behaviors and poor decision making, thus fortifying each attendee with a new set of positive skills.
The day-long event on Saturday celebrated the success of season one, which reached more than 1600 students with life skills, health information and college readiness and anti-bullying messages. The day also allowed Full Court Press: Prep for Success to announce a second season set to begin in March of 2014, the dedication of three new basketball courts in the Lower 9th Ward, and to present a check for $15,000.00 to the New Orleans Department of Recreation.
Joining President Morial for the day was more than twenty NBA legends, including NBA Hall of Famer and top fifty greatest of all-time Rick Barry and four NBA Legends from the state of Louisiana, Eldridge ReCastner, University of Washington, George Seals, Xavier, John “Hot Rod” Williams, Tulane and Robert Pack from the University of Southern California, and a current assistant coach with the NBA’s Oklahoma Thunder.
The more than 250 youth, parent and guests were treated to a day of food, basketball drills and life skills clinics and great motivational speeches about life, hard work and pursuing dreams against all odds. Each player shared personal antidotes and compelling stories about how education, hard work and making good, sound and informed decision lead them to a path of success on and off the court.
About the National Basketball Retired Players Association
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Arnie D. Fielkow is the President & CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Otis Birdsong, Vice Chairman Thurl Bailey, Treasurer Marvin Roberts, Secretary Steve Hayes, Past Chairman Robert A. (Bob) Elliott, Past Chairman Dr. George W. Tinsley Sr., Rick Barry, Harvey Catchings, Spencer Haywood, LaRue Martin and Johnny Newman.
About the National Police Athletic League
The National Association of Police Athletic/Activities Leagues, Incorporated (National PAL) is a national youth crime prevention program that brings youth and law enforcement together in a positive environment that promotes trust and respect for each other. The “Mission” of National PAL and its member chapters work to prevent juvenile crime and violence by building the bond between cops and kids. National PAL exists to prevent juvenile crime and violence by providing civic, athletic, recreational and educational opportunities and resources to PAL Chapters. The PAL concept was developed in New York City, NY in 1914. From those successful origins the PAL concept spread, PAL programs developed in other communities. Today, there are over 400 PAL Chapters partnering with law enforcement agencies servicing over 700 cities and 1,700 facilities throughout the United States, including the U.S. Virgin Islands and Nigeria, serving more than one million youth, ages 5 to 18. PAL Alumni include sports greats, Mohammed Ali (Boxing), Larry Holmes (Boxing), Oscar Robinson (Basketball), Wilt Chamberlin (Basketball), J.R. Smith (Basketball), Larry Johnson (Basketball), Thomas “Satch” Sanders (Basketball), John Thompson (Basketball)General Colin Powell, Congressman Frank Wolf, and entertainers Billy Joel, Bill Cosby and Jimmy Smits.
About the National Urban League
The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy. Today, there are nearly 100 local affiliates in 36 states and the District of Columbia, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2.5 million people nationwide.