Last Thursday in Harlem, the excitement from The Brotherhood/Sister Sol could be felt from blocks away. That was because 75 children gathered to meet Amar’e Stoudemire and to collect gifts he gave away through the Amar’e Stoudemire Foundation. Kids clamored to take pictures with Stoudemire and to open their presents, which included Nike shoes, books, and toys.
Addressing the children, Stoudemire offered words of advice and thanked members of the foundation for their inspiring work. “Your key to success is education,” said Stoudemire. “You only see the highlights of basketball on TV but what you don’t see are the injuries and the hard work behind it. Education- seeking knowledge- that’s what is important. You can’t be afraid to be smart. The smarter you are, the more swag you'll have.” Stoudemire cautioned that he would be back to check up on the kids of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol to make sure they are taking their education seriously. He then ended on a lighthearted note with, “New York Knicks baby,” surprising everyone by giving away tickets to the Knicks' season home opener against the Boston Celtics.
Stoudemire’s Foundation is focused on finding creative ways to inspire youth to succeed. Touched by poverty growing up, he said that he’s committed to supporting youth outreach programs. On December 22, Stoudemire also participated in the first ever NBA Town Hall and when asked by a fan what his New Year’s resolution is, he said he’s focused on helping create tomorrow’s leaders.
Stoudemire chose The Brotherhood/Sister Sol because of both the national and international work they do to help eradicate poverty through education. Similarly, The Brotherhood/Sister Sol, which has received recognition and support from the likes of Oprah Winfrey, felt that the Amar’e Stoudemire Foundation aligned with their mission.
For many of the children, having Stoudemire appear was the highlight of their holiday season. Having him offer his own words of encouragement and advice however, had a palpable effect. With the Knicks’ season officially getting underway on Christmas Day, Stoudemire’s appearance proved to be even more fitting than usual.