Joined: 20 Mar 2017
|Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:41 am Post subject: How ex-Yankee Derek Jeter inspired Mets' Curtis Granderson
|NEW YORK -- Curtis Granderson rode a Citi bike to the New York Public Library on Friday, and while it might not seem like much to an http://www.newjersey1861.com/michael-strahan-jersey-c-1_51.html outsider watching him ride, the act was symbolic to the Mets outfielder.
So many kids -- too many kids, if you ask Granderson -- don't have the same educational opportunities as others. The library represents education for everyone, which is what Granderson has been working to provide through his Grand Kids Foundation. The veteran outfielder rode to the library to bring awareness to his foundation and celebrate its 10-year anniversary.
What started as a basketball game at a gym in Michigan has grow to be a program that benefits kids all over the country and has even earned Granderson a nomination for ESPN's Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award.
Credit his parents, who are both teachers in Chicago, for the notion that education can help put a child on the right path and keep them there, and former Yankees teammate Derek Jeter for inspiring him to keep growing the foundation.
"I think a lot of people wanted to know why I chose education. Why not choose something publicly bigger?" He said. "But with the http://www.officialpiratessale.com/roberto-clemente-jersey-c-1_14.html graduation rates in Detroit being as low as they were, and with my parents and sister being educators and me having gone back and gotten my degree, education was something very important to me."
Granderson has never been shy about his desire to bring baseball to the inner cities and the politics that come along with that. But baseball is only a small part of what Grand Kids is all about.
"It's tied into fitness and nutrition because all of that is tied into the day as a student," Granderson said. "Baseball is one of the different activities that kids and youth can be a part of."
Ten years ago, Granderson had pie-in-the-sky dreams of making the foundation as big as Jeter's Turn 2 program. He wasn't sure that his first event, a basketball game at a Detroit area gym, would be enough.
Several Michigan celebrities showed up for the event, starting with his former teammate Dontrelle Willis, and by the end of the day they had more attention than Granderson thought possible after TMZ posted a video of Braylon Edwards making free throws.
"The Turn 2 Foundation, I'm seeing that going, 'Wow, they're raising all of this money and they've got all of these big galas and I want that Pete Rose Youth Jersey today," Granderson said. "The passion that I had, I wanted everybody to feel that. I wanted to be able to do things and bring in the numbers. It's not that we weren't getting the attention and it's not that we weren't getting people to come. But the dollars like that take some time.
"And even without the dollar amount, the impact can still be there."