New York Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire is giving back to his community by talking to imprisoned teens on New York’s Rikers Island. Stoudemire spoke to the teens about getting their lives together in order to be better fathers to their children.
Amare was a member of a panel sent to the New York prison to talk to male teens between the ages of 16 and 18. He was joined by rapper Styles P, ex-Knick John Wallace, veteran NBA player Etan Thomas, ESPN’s Chris Broussard, and Malcolm X‘s grandson Malcolm Shabazz. The men counseled the teens on why it’s important to remain free and taking care of responsibilities was one of their main reasons.
After being greeted with thunderous applause, Stoudemire dropped some knowledge on the teens, saying, “The plan for us is not to succeed, and it goes back to when there was slavery. What you got to do is look at yourself in the mirror and say: ‘What am I going to do so I will not be a number?’ In the school systems, our neighborhoods, it’s a hard situation for us. But you got to be man enough to know you got to be good fathers and stay out of here after you get back home.”
Amare made sure to express that main reason for the counseling session was for the message of fatherhood to be driven home in the minds of the teen boys. Amare told The Rumble, “The message we want to get across is fatherhood. A lot of young brothers who are fathers are incarcerated. … We’re going to keep their spirits up.”
Chief of Rikers Island Michael Hourihane said, “We couldn’t be more grateful to Amare Stoudimire and the other stars for coming to Riker’s Island to inspire today’s young men to stand tall in the face of daunting challenges.”
How come we don’t have more of these programs? This is something that shouldn’t just be limited to New york, but I know I need to hit the brakes. One step at a time. But this is a good start.