Saturday, May 16, 2015

Want success? Better have a good system like the Atlanta Hawks according to the L.E.A.D. Ambassadors

There are companies and organization in Atlanta like my organization L.E.A.D. that should be watching the success of the Atlanta Hawks very closely.

Some say that the Hawks are lucky and some recognize that they are winning because of a great system.

I challenged our L.E.A.D. Ambassadors today to share their thoughts about the Hawks' winning system.

Good afternoon gentlemen. I need your help with a blog. With 25-50 words, please explain to me the system that is in place that allowed the Hawks to reach the Eastern Conference Finals. You may text or email your responses to me. Thanks for your help in advance.

L.E.A.D. Ambassador Tyquavious Noland, Maynard Jackson High School

The Hawks are very focused and structured this year. They are able to keep winning games because of teamwork and humility. The system that is in place now is based on being organized and passionate. Therefore, they are able to keep being successful in the playoffs.

CJ Stewart: What happens when players on the team stop being humble?

Tyquavious Noland: When players on the the team stop being humble, the team will stop being successful.

L.E.A.D. Ambassador Tyquavious Noland is empowered by L.E.A.D. to lead the way
L.E.A.D. Ambassador D'Anthony Morrow, Benjamin E. Mays High School

The system that is in place for the Hawks is team ball. The Hawks are executing when needed and sharing the ball. When their plans are executed, the Hawks are unstoppable. When they are not executing they are not scoring. Coach Mike Budenholzer is putting the right players in at the right time to make things happen. The Hawks have the talent to go to Finals if they execute plays. Go Hawks!

CJ Stewart: Thanks D'Anthony. So what happens when the coach puts the wrong players in?

D'Anthony Morrow: When the wrong players are in, they try to do more than what is required and force plays which causes turnovers.

CJ Stewart: So the Hawks did a good job before the 2015 season started of selecting good guys that can play good unselfish basketball?

D'Anthony Morrow: Yes sir.

L.E.A.D. Ambassador Cameron Tucker, Henry W. Grady High School

The system that the Hawks have is one that empowers everyone to play their role. #teamwork

CJ Stewart: What is your role as a L.E.A.D. Ambassador?

Cameron Tucker: My role as a L.E.A.D. Ambassador is to empower an at risk generation to lead and transform our city of Atlanta.

L.E.A.D. Ambassador Cameron Tucker will be attending Tuskegee University as a student-athlete fall 2015

L.E.A.D. Ambassador Jaquavious Gaither, New Schools at Carver

The reason why the Atlanta Hawks made it to the Eastern Conference Finals is because of the role of the players, staff and management. Mike Budenholzer (head coach of the Hawks) had his team inspired last night and told his team that "we would make history today. The next time we play will be at home in the Eastern Conference Finals against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers." That's what got the Hawks fired up.

CJ Stewart: Who inspires L.E.A.D. to win on and off the field?

Jaquavious Gaither: Mizuno and Georgia's Own Credit Union helps us win on and off the field because they believe that we will lead the way for the future of Atlanta and the world.

CJ Stewart: What happens if companies like those stop supporting L.E.A.D.?

Jaquavious Gaither: We would have to find other companies and organizations that believe in us.

L.E.A.D. Ambassador Sam Katz, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School

The Hawks were successful in reaching the Eastern Conference Finals because of teamwork, humility, trust, faith, determination, patience and loyalty. The Hawks worked as a team and not as individuals. I didn't like when Paul Pierce was show boating about his shot and how he called "game".

CJ Stewart: How should coaches handle show boats?

Sam Katz: I think that the most effective way to correct a show boat is by taking away playing time from him. A player can't show boat from the bench. In Paul Pierce's case, there was still eight major seconds left in the game and he was distracted.

CJ Stewart: What are you suggesting distracted Paul Pierce with eight seconds remaining?

Sam Katz: His celebration took away from his focus.

CJ Stewart: Would the Hawks system allow its players to celebrate prematurely and lose focus?

Sam Katz: Absolutely not. They all treat each other as one and know their responsibilities before and after each play. They would celebrate after the game and as a team. Not one player wins it for the Hawks. It's a team effort.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mothers, take us higher

Let's take a pause to recognize that mothers are the salt of the earth.

With the decline of the black male image in America, we need black mothers to be even stronger. We need them to raise the standard higher if we want a better tomorrow for black males.

Today, I asked our L.E.A.D. Ambassadors from Atlanta Public Schools to describe what makes their mother so special and this is what they shared.

L.E.A.D. Ambassador Vernard Kennedy, New Schools at Carver

Without my mom, everything in my daily schedule would be so unorganized. I would have quit so many great things. She continues to push me and I love her for that. She is my inspiration.

L.E.A.D. Ambassador Jalen Cannon, B.E.S.T. Academy

What makes my mother so special is that she is always there for me. When I need something, she helps me get it.

L.E.A.D. Ambassador Amyr Smith, Henry Grady High School

My mother has been a mother and my father. She had to raise two kids on her own and I will be furthering my education as a student-athlete at Morehouse College in the fall because of her.

L.E.A.D. Ambassador D'Angelo Julio, South Atlanta High School

My mother is raising my sister and I by herself and she's been doing a great job. We will both be attending college.

D'Angelo Julio and his twin sister Angelaa

L.E.A.D. Ambassador Tyquavious Noland, Maynard Jackson High School

What makes my mom special is the love that she shows everybody all the time.

L.E.A.D. Ambassador Byron Brinkley, Drew Charter School

My mom is a single mother and she takes care great care of my older brother Brandon and I. Brandon will graduate from Columbus State University tomorrow and I plan to attend the University of Oregon as a student-athlete when I graduate from high school. We've never starved, been homeless nor have I had to sell drugs to get money.

L.E.A.D. Ambassador Jacoby Evans, Booker T. Washington High School

My mom is special because she can bring a smile to anyone's face and she is my ultimate support system.

L.E.A.D. Ambassador D'Anthony Morrow, Benjamin E. Mays High School

My mother makes countless sacrifices for my older sister and I. My older sister graduated from the University of Florida with a law degree. She teaches us how to handle tough situations. She is my mother and also a great friend.

L.E.A.D. Ambassador Cedric Reed, New Schools at Carver c/o 2013, Georgia Highlands College

What makes my mom so special is her willingness to make sacrifices for us. She teaches us to care for others and to never give up.

L.E.A.D. Ambassador Desmond Stegall, Benjamin E. Mays High School c/o 2011, Grambling State University

My mother is everything I need and want. She can be my best friend, biggest critic, motivator, #1 supporter and most importantly my mother.

L.E.A.D. Ambassador Sean Warren, North Atlanta High School

My mom is special because she makes incredible sacrifices for me.


Friday, May 1, 2015

This is why L.E.A.D. is marching in May in Atlanta

Talk about ironic. Here I am at the age of 39 this morning leading hundreds of Atlantans of varying race, age and gender down Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. from in the historic Hunter Hills Community of Atlanta from Mozley Park to Booker T. Washington High School for our 5th Inner City Youth Baseball March.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of my heros.

Booker T. Washington High School educated Dr. King Jr. before he enrolled at neighboring Morehouse College at age 15.

At age 39, Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, TN.

Before being laid to rest at the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Center in the Auburn Avenue Community, his body traveled on Hunter Street which is now Martin Luther King Jr. Drive through what is being developed now as the new home stadium for the Atlanta Falcons.

Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Atlanta was once Hunter Street. This Hunter Hills Community was the home of some of Atlanta's most educated and financially stable blacks.

Today Booker T. Washington High School educates some of the poorest students in Atlanta. It's 30314 zip code is one of the most dangerous communities in America. 60% of black males will not graduate from high school within Atlanta Public Schools on time or at all.

My mother Bertha Gail Stewart graduated from Booker T. Washington High School at the age of 16 while also be pregnant with me.

My uncle Bob Wilburn met my aunt Margie (Rest In Peace) on the track at Washington High School.

I love Washington High School and I love Atlanta.

Dr. King organized several marches to demonstrate the organization and strength of blacks during our fight for equality.

So why is L.E.A.D. marching?

We are marching to demonstrate our organization and strength regarding the social injustice issue of the decline of blacks in baseball.

L.E.A.D. (Launch, Expose, Advise, Direct) partners with Atlanta Public Schools to provide a 12-month Pathway2Empowerment opportunity to black males grades 6th through 12th and we have well over 100 of them here this morning suited in Mizuno apparel from head to toe.

America, black boys in Atlanta love baseball by the thousands. Through L.E.A.D., several Ambassadors are using baseball to enroll and graduate from college. They are now working for companies such as Home Depot, Mizuno and Aerotek to name a few.

The decline of blacks in baseball is a social injustice issue and we aren't happy about it in Atlanta. Baseball across the world will not thrive in the future without the participation of blacks on the field, in the stands or in the front office.

Provide more access and opportunity to black male youth in baseball and watch the numbers increase at the collegiate level which currently has less than 6% of blacks on all NCAA baseball rosters across America.

Like Dr. King and I, Jackie Robinson was born in Georgia. Jackie Robinson was more than the first black to play in the Major Leagues during the modern era. He saved Major League Baseball.

Dr. King and Jackie Robinson

Baseball is a big deal throughout the world.

Baseball saved my life as a black boy growing up in the inner city of Atlanta.

Because of baseball, today I'm uniquely positioned to empower an at risk generation to lead and transform their city of Atlanta.

Atlanta will never be a world class city until hundreds of thousands of black males are living a sustainable life of significance.

Click here to see our L.E.A.D. Impact Stats.