Amar’e Stoudemire Counsels 250 Rikers Island Teens
Stat catches a lot of heat for his wardrobe and play on the basketball court, so it’s only right we give him some cool press when he gives back off the court.
The New York Post is reporting that Amar’e Stoudemire spent two hours in a Rikers Island prison gymnasium speaking to 250 incarcerated adolescents aged 16-18.
Stoudemire was apart of a panel that included ex-Knick John Wallace, NBA analyst Chris Broussard, rapper Styles P, Etan Thomas, and Malcolm X’ grandson, Malcolm Shabazz. The New York Post themed blog ‘The Rumble,” was also in attendance.
Stoudemire got a huge ovation when he was introduced.
Amar’e had a real conversation with the teens, and spoke to them about the trials they’ll face in this cold world.
“The plan for us is not to succeed, and it goes back to when there was slavery,’’ Stoudemire told the assembled. “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.’’
“The message we want to get across is fatherhood,” Stoudemire told The Rumble’s Marc Berman. “A lot of young brothers who are fathers are incarcerated. … We’re going to keep their spirits up.”
“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,” said chief Michael Hourihane.
Stoudemire had hs own struggles as a teen, so he was more than suitable to speak to the young teens about making good choices in life. His mother was in and out of jail, and Stoudemire himself attended 6 different high schools due to his teen struggles.
Stoudemire and Thomas both admitted that there were questions about why they would do such a good deed.
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“Amar’e and I were on CNN [Thursday] and we told the interviewer we were coming to Rikers Island. She said, ‘Why are you doing that? They’ve already given up on life.’ That’s what she said on live TV. There’s a lot of haters out there.”