Former Detroit Pistons Point Guard and NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas joined forces with the Housing Authority of Cook County and Sheriff Tom Dart to share the secrets of his success with young residents of one of the state’s poorest communities.
Thomas was hosted by the HACC Executive Director Rich Monocchio and Chief Operating Officer Sue Wiemer as the special guest speaker at Camp Nabad, which was started a dozen years ago by the Cook County Sheriff and later co-sponsored by the HACC.
Speaking to a group of 4th through 6th graders at the Vera Yates Homes in Ford Heights, Thomas told the youngsters that they can overcome any challenges they face and create successful lives for themselves, inside the sports world and beyond.
“I was one of these kids and someone took the time to pay attention to me and give me some good advice," Thomas said. "They had no idea what impact their words had on me. You never know who you’re touching or who that kid’s going to grow up to be. On any given day, you can make a big difference in their life.”
Thomas grew up in poverty on Chicago’s West Side and rose to greatness as one of the National Basketball Association’s most accomplished players. He went on to a series of roles as an NBA commentator, a manager and head coach after his playing career ended.
The HACC Executive Director Monocchio said they welcomed the opportunity for Thomas to speak to the kids because Thomas is a role model for how to rise above your circumstances.
“We want these youngsters to know that they can achieve greatness if they aspire to greatness," Monocchio said. "They face many obstacles but we want to inspire them to keep striving.”