I wanted to give something back to the community where im from and also to help solidify the brand name for P.O.T.S, which is...

ArtAboveReality At Mustafa Shakur Community Day – July 9th 2011: Here are some images from a great day in Philadelphia. The day was July 9th and the activity was the Mustafa Shakur Community Day!

With supporters from all over the city, NBA Stars, local college players, old coaches and a bunch a future stars, this day was as successful and meaningful to the community as the local pool opening on the days of treacherous heat. The full article/interview coming soon on http://www.artabovereality.com. While your here checking out the pictures, follow the host of this great event on Twitter!!! –>>> @UptownStaf

What is the Part of the Solution Community Day?

Mustafa Shakur (P.O.T.S/NBA Wizards): It started off as being the “Mustafa Shakur Communty Day” but I didnt want the event to be all about me, so i came of with the name “Part of the Solution”. I wanted to give something back to the community where im from and also to help solidify the brand name for P.O.T.S, which is using the power of sports and academics to help prepare our younger generation for their futures.

What inspired you to do this community day for your neighborhood?

Mustafa Shakur (P.O.T.S/NBA Wizards): There were quite a few inspirations. Coaches like Larry Waiters and Greg (Hunting Park) and also attending the “Rasheed Wallace Basketball Camp” every year. With the camp not being around anymore, it left a void in the community leaving many kids without something positive to do.

I then decided to add a my own spin to the camp (using Rasheed Wallace Camp as a example) and add an academic portion which is also showing a lot of progress and promise. I’m always in the neighborhood when I’m in Philadelphia and it saddens me to see the path that some kids haven chosen for themselves. I wish that I could be around more to be a positive example and help provide direction on doing something different with their lives. Hopefully, the Part of the Solution organization will do just that.

What other community events are you involved in or would like to be involved in? (Scholarship Giveaways, etc.)

Mustafa Shakur (P.O.T.S/NBA Wizards): We are in the beginning stages of the orginzation but were aiming toward making it an after school program and summer camp and with this kickoff event, we hope to generate more of that positive energy toward the overall goal. Unfortunately with today being a one day event, we aren’t able to do a lot of one on one with the kids in a smaller setting and thats what we want to focus on going forward. We were although, able to provide lots of information going forward about the importance of education, but we definitely look to getting more in depth providing constant mentorship.

What are some of the things that you didn’t have growing up that you feel are key to growth and development of children in our communities?

Mustafa Shakur (P.O.T.S/NBA Wizards): I think one of the biggest things we have to have is mentorship. Having the qualified people in and out of the community to come in to help and really voice their opinions on what it takes to become successful. It was great having Andre Iguodala and Hakim Warrick come through, and not only them, we also had a host of non profit organizations throughout the city, and former players to come by and be a part of the event and participate.

How has having positive mentors/coaches growing up played a part in your success as a person and also in your deeds to give back to the community?

Mustafa Shakur (P.O.T.S/NBA Wizards): I believe having those positive people around me at all time have definitely made my job easier. They also have a lot of passion for what we’re doing and therefore take a lot of the pressure off of us. It also makes for a rewarding and fun experience having everyone pitching in and getting involved.

After your basketball career, what do you see yourself doing? Do you envision coming back to the community to coach a team, or run a community league, etc.?

Mustafa Shakur (P.O.T.S/NBA Wizards): I can’t really tell you what the future holds for me as far as coaching, but its always fun. Im a real hands on person so i could see my self doing workouts with players here and there, but I feel like as of right now God may have a bigger plan for me and that’s bringing people together and helping out the community. Im still trying to figure that all out while still concentrating on basketball. Im sure Ill find out as I continue to go forward.

What are some things outside of basketball that helped you prepare for life in the NBA? (Etiquette/Manners, Social Classes, etc.)

Mustafa Shakur (P.O.T.S/NBA Wizards): Yes! All of those are important. Those are some of the types of classes I’ve had the priviledge to take attending a big time school such as The University of Arizona. I’ve had classes on etiquette, talking to reporters, and also, going to the different NBA and High School camps growing up, they would always prepare you for these situations. That’s also where alot of my inspiration for P.O.T.S comes from. I wanted to be able to bring this attitude to my neighborhood and incorporate it with sports to give kids a better understanding of how to carry themselves, speaking in public, networking, financial intelligence,etc. All these things will play a major part in their lives.

What advice would you give to young people who want to follow in your footsteps?

Mustafa Shakur (P.O.T.S/NBA Wizards): The advice I want to give kids is be consistent in believing in yourself. There are lots of guys that I’ve watched that have so much talent and ability but didnt have that mentorship to keep them grounded. You have to be persistent. You never know when things can change for you. Stay humble and stay on top of your prayers. Thats very important. There are things that come along everyday that try to knock you off your path.

What should the community expect from you in the future?

Mustafa Shakur (P.O.T.S/NBA Wizards):Going forward we want to have the kickoff for the summer camp next year. If we make enough progress to have the after school program im all for it, but our main focus is gearing up for next years camp.

Badir Mccleary

Art Journalist. Documentarian. Co-Owner of Gallery 38 in Los Angeles. Master of Art in Art Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Drucker School of Management. Art enthusiast looking to become your favorite curator, consultant and director.

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