Raymond Felton is making a difference, and not just on the basketball court.
On Thursday, November 9, Felton announced that he is teaming up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Charlotte. In an effort to bring awareness to the organization, Felton will not only appear in a new multimedia campaign for TV and print, but he will be a Big Brother as well.
“I am very excited to be a part of Big Brother Big Sisters because it really symbolizes what my family has taught, what my family is all about,” said a smiling Felton as he hugged both his “little” Ricky and another “little” Fred, who is also part of the media campaign. “Just to see these kids smile, to put a smile on their face and give the kids the opportunities I had growing up means a lot to me.”
Ricky, who Felton will mentor, had a lot to say about having Raymond Felton as a Big Brother.
“It will be a good experience to hang out with Raymond Felton because I will have someone to play with, to talk to, to play games with and someone to help me if I have a problem at school with a bully or something,” said Ricky. “The reason I wanted a Big Brother was because my Auntie Tracy couldn’t devote all the time I need to me -- every time she comes home from work she has more work to do at home.”
“ Well I believe he pretty much summed it up for everybody,” said a laughing Felton, after Ricky had just finished his speech, where he declared that Raymond come and play basketball with him at least twice a month and that he didn’t always feel comfortable talking girls – hint, hint.
Several studies have measured the effectiveness of this program, citing that 68 percent of youth in this program have improved their relationships with their peers, 74 percent have improved their academic performance, 96 percent have avoided delinquent behavior, 99 percent have avoided substance abuse, 99 percent have avoided early parenting and 84 percent have indicated more self-confidence.
Felton is excited to have the chance to help make such a dramatic impact on this young man’s life.
“To be honest even if I wasn’t a professional athlete and I didn’t play ball here it would be something I would still love to do,” said Felton. “The first time I met the kid it just brought joy to my eyes.
“I just want to be a positive influence in his life – someone he will always remember or can come to talk to about anything.”
“The first time when she told me I didn’t believe her,” said Ricky, referring to when he first heard from his auntie that Felton was going to be his Big Brother.
Well, after Thursday’s announcement Ricky didn’t have any more doubts, as the pair already seemed to be having fun with each other.
Both Felton and Big Brothers Big Sisters are hoping that more people will follow Felton’s lead and help make a difference in the community by influencing the life of a youngster.
What a heart-warming article. I wish all NBA players would be this way. Kudos to Raymond.