By Percy Allen
The morning started with basketball, but this was no ordinary game of hoops.
It was supposed to be a good-natured shooting contest between Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Martell Webster and a handful of kids at the Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club.
The idea was to make a few shots and pose for pictures before moving on to a breakfast banquet and fundraising for the A Plus Youth Program.
But once the balls got in the air, the competitive juices got going and some good-natured trash talking ensued between the men.
Carroll, the keynote speaker at the breakfast, won the game and enjoyed ribbing the other two.
However, the big winner might have been Tavio Hobson, the A Plus founder responsible for organizing the breakfast and a program that benefits children on the court and in the classroom.
“To have so many people come out and not only share, but support your vision is fantastic and humbling,” Hobson said. “I can’t thank them enough. It takes a team to make a difference and we’ve put together a pretty good team.”
Hobson assembled friends and benefactors, including longtime buddy Brandon Roy, who embodies the best A Plus vision.
“I was that kid,” Roy said. “I had a 1.8 (grade-point average) and I improved that to a 3.2 and passed the SAT. I know kids who were 1.8 students and weren’t able to progress. They didn’t have anybody to say, ‘Let’s do this work.’ ”
Roy enlisted his friend, Webster, who is partnering with A Plus to establish a mentorship program.
Roy also brought Jamal Crawford into the mix….(Continue reading)