Tyrone Grant: Team First
Close your eyes. Picture the retirement of an NBA player, and what do you see? Beaches? Palm trees? Maybe an unlimited supply of drinks on a hammock? Now, open your eyes. Retired NBA player, Tyrone Grant (previously of the Charlotte Hornets), is blowing our minds away by passing on that trip to paradise and helping those in need by running a non-profit in NYC called Team First. Founded in 2011 by Tyrone Grant, Team First is a Brooklyn based 501(c)3 non-profit that strives to help children 16 and younger see the importance of education while learning basketball from professionals and receiving mentoring. Tyrone says growing up, he was one of the typical “bad kids” in the sense that he never really took anything seriously, especially his education. That all changed when his high school basketball coach saw something in him, and Tyrone’s love and excitement for basketball began to push him on the right path in life. His coach used tough love with him to get him to realize that if you want a real career in basketball (or anything for that matter), then you need to take education seriously. Tyrone clearly listened to this wise coach and has succeeded with that advice, which he is now giving the same advice to others.
Tyrone says Team First is all about results and opportunity. Through this organization, he is giving children a chance that they normally would not be able to dream of. He is giving them a chance to see Brooklyn & Manhattan, learn from professionals, get mentoring, and see the world in a new light. Team First offers free after school programs, Summer basketball camps, clinics and international programs. Team First also has a collaboration with the District Attorney’s office in NYC,. Tyrone takes various youths that have been in juvenile custody and puts them in sports programs to get them on the right path and out of trouble. Funds are raised for Team First through benefits that Tyrone puts together with several NBA players. All the money raised helps that children involved in Team First to be able to utilize all the programs offered at no cost. So far, in just its two short years about 1,000 children have been a part of Team First. Tyrones hopes for the future of this organization are to have more children involved, have more funds raised, have more people know about it, and have children graduate the program and come back to tell of their success, much like his own story. This athlete has no doubt had a successful career, but his true success stems from what he is using his retirement for.