The Syracuse that Rocked My World - Part 2


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Nick is a friend of a friend’s. A perfect stranger but quick to become a friend. Nick approached the trailer and as one thing led to another he say, “You guys probably eat out a lot. How does a home cooked meal sound?”

My heart jumped for joy. Seriously.

There was nothing like being welcomed into his home. Nick and his wife Emily had prepared an incredible dinner and before anyone started, Nick blessed the meal. I felt instantly at home and wanted to cry thinking of how much I LOVE when my Papa blesses the meal.

Thank you Nick and Emily, for your kindness, hospitality and beautiful example of befriending strangers and treating them like family.

My final highlight from Syracuse comes from Brian.

Brian grew up in a rough part of town. Raised by his grandmother and surrounded by gangs and violence, he had very few role models.

Brian was arrested on the high school football field...mid game...in front of everyone.

At that moment he realized that he did NOT want a life like the rest. He went on to become the first male in his family to graduate college and never serve a prison sentence. (He also played football for his school. #CollegeAthlete!)

“When kids don’t have fathers in their lives, no one teaches them how to tie a tie, shave or walk away from a fight. I was the kid who had to get in a fight and get arrested to learn my lesson.”

Brian is a champion and even as I write this, I have goose bumps. He tells a story of fearless redemption and deep courage. He now works to help inner city kids get into college. He dreams of opening a gym to train college athletes not only to become amazing athletes, but also to become amazing men. Check out more of his story, here.

Brian, thanks for shooting hoops with me. Although you are clearly a superior athlete, I still had a blast!

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