Just recently, Memphian Henry Baskin took time to assess how pivotal education is, particularly amongst youth in the inner city.
“Education is very important to our family, Baskin, a Memphis Mitchell High and Tennessee State graduate, told longtime journalist Andre T Johnson during a recent interview.
To get a full understanding of why Baskin is so passionate about education, look no further than the notable achievements of those in his own family.
Baskin is the brother of current Tennessee State University president, Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover. A former Memphis public schools educator, Baskin currently assumes the role as Director of Outreach for Indiana Pacers veteran swingman Thaddeus Young’s nonprofit organization, Youth For Youth.
For Baskin, who has strong ties to Young, a former Mitchell High basketball star, he is appreciative of the fact that Young has presented with him the golden opportunity to help youngsters from the inner city enhance their educational endeavors.
“It’s funny how the tables have turned,” Baskin, a licensed Memphis area minister, said of his working relationship with Young. “In high school, I he had to answer to me, and now, I have to answer to him.”
Displaying his signature smile, Baskin admittedly welcomes the distinct opportunity of having to work for one of his most beloved former students, arguably the most celebrated personality in the history of Mitchell athletics.
“I met Thad when he was in elementary school,” Baskin explained. “He would walk up and down the street dribbling a basketball.” When he enrolled at Mitchell in the seventh grade, I was the athletic director. I was also a pastor in that community.”
Now as Overseer of Young’s Youth For Youth organization, Baskin is affordable with the luxury of routinely helping youngsters grasp the importance of broadening their horizon.
“His future impact in our community is very exciting,” Baskin said. “We have can meetings with the City of Memphis and Shelby County Schools. We are looking forward to a tremendous partnership with both of them through Youth For Youth Foundation.”
Among the reasons is that aside from partaking in various sports-related activities, Young’s foundation holds regular sessions in which it conducts ACT preparation training, tutoring, mentorship, and etiquette, among other things.
In addition, the organization helps sponsor an annual Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Run, in large part because Young and other former and current Mitchell athletes are regular participants.
By and large, Youth For Youth, Baskin acknowledged, has become a fixture in the Memphis metropolitan area because of Young’s passion and commitment of giving back to the community.
“It’s a better place,” Baskin said. “Thad is the example that hard work will make you successful. He is a true example to follow. He married his high school sweetheart and is a true family man.”
Most importantly, Baskin is especially appreciative of the fact that Young, a former Georgia Tech star who’s entering his eighth NBA season and with his fourth team, returned to school to earn his degree.
“He is set financially, but he wanted to made good on the promise he made to his mom,” Baskin said. “After losing her to breast cancer, he finished his degree in her honor. His father has really kept him grounded.”
And because of Young’s continuous contributions to his high school alma mater, Mitchell has remained relevant in the Shelby-Metro area.
Last year, under the guidance of former Mitchell basketball star Andre Turner, the Tigers claimed the TSSAA state championship in his first season as head coach.
Like Baskin, Turner, a former Memphis State standout who helped propel the Tigers to the Final Four in 1985, was complimentary of how Young has gone to great lengths to give back to the inner city.
“First and foremost, Thad keeps us relevant because of who he is and where he’s from,” Turner said. “He also keeps us relevant because of his continual motivation to the team as well as coaching staff. He gives untiring financial support and he is always offering moral support. His commitment to
is not just the team, but the school also. He cares about where he is from. He makes sure the community is relevant. We even have game jerseys with Walker Homes on them that we play in for big games.”
Generally, what it all boils down to, Young said, is that the community in which he grew up, in turn, has his constant backing and support, particularly as it pertains to giving back and keeping Mitchell relevant both as a booming athletic and college preparatory institution.
“Alot of my success comes from my no days off mentally, the support of my family continuing to push me each day, and the support of my community is huge in my growth toward me getting to where I am now,” Young said. “The every day struggles as a kid living in Walker Homes made me tough mentality. The support of the community getting behind me kept me hungry to achieve and not fail.”
All of which to Young’s credit, has given way to a win-win situation for all, most notably those who are involved his flourishing foundation.
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Andre T. Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport.com. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To read him, call 901-690-6587 or send email to: email@example.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.