NBA'S ANTHONY CARTER ANNOUNCED AS FIRST NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON FOR IHAD

HOOP DREAMS COME FULL CIRCLE FOR NBA'S ANTHONY CARTER,
“I HAVE A DREAM”® FOUNDATION’S FIRST-EVER NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON


NBA Player Shares His Story to Help Today’s At-Risk Youth

November 19, 2003--—NBA player Anthony Carter – NBA player and the first-ever spokesperson for the national “I Have a Dream”® Foundation – grew up in one of the roughest neighborhoods in Atlanta. Carter dropped out of high school after his freshman year and for the next three years spent all of his time playing high-stakes pick-up basketball games with his friends on playground courts across the city. A success on the asphalt courts, thoughts of pursuing a college education were not at the forefront of his teenage mind. So how did this street player make it to the NBA? And why does he tell students today to not follow his example, and to stay in school?

Anthony Carter was given a second chance. When Carter was in the fifth grade at Fred A. Toomer Elementary School, his entire class was “adopted” as part of the national “I Have a Dream”® Program. The “I Have a Dream”® Program encourages youth from low-income communities to achieve their education and career dreams by providing a long-term program of mentoring, tutoring and enrichment with guaranteed tuition assistance for higher education.

Although the “I Have a Dream”® promise of tuition assistance in and of itself could have been the motivation that drove Carter to stay in school, it was not enough. With dreams and determination to play ball, Carter found more satisfaction on the basketball courts than in the classrooms. He was not a troublemaker, but a young man in need of guidance and direction. As a Dreamer, Carter came to rely on the support and encouragement of his “I Have a Dream”® Sponsor, Llew Haden, and Project Coordinator, Mattie Baker.

Fulfilling the Foundation’s philosophy, Once a Dreamer, Always a Dreamer, Carter’s Sponsor stuck by him and encouraged him to return to school and work towards his high school equivalency diploma. With Haden’s continued mentoring and guidance, Carter attended a junior college in California where he was able to play basketball and lead the state in scoring during his time there. He was later admitted to the University of Hawaii on a basketball scholarship. Carter started his NBA career, recruited by coach Pat Riley, playing for the Miami Heat, during the 1998-1999 season. Anthony Carter, now 28, played for the Miami Heat for five years.

Coming so far and given such great opportunities, on November 19, 2003, Anthony Carter will return to “I Have a Dream”® and be announced as the “I Have a Dream”® Foundation’s first-ever national spokesperson. Said Carter, “There are many others, like myself, who have achieved success in their lives thanks to the support they received from the “I Have a Dream”® Foundation. I feel fortunate and proud to be a Dreamer and look forward to the opportunity to impact the lives of future Dreamers by giving back to the organization that helped shape my future.”

“Carter’s role as a national spokesperson will be to reach out to youngsters and potential supporters to express the importance of helping today’s at-risk youth achieve their dreams of life and career success through education,” said Marina Winton, CEO of the national “I Have a Dream”® Foundation. The “I Have a Dream”® Foundation has helped more than 13,500 youngsters achieve their dreams since it was founded in 1986.

In his role as a national spokesperson, Carter will be engaged in a public awareness campaign for the Foundation that will include Sponsor outreach, special appearances at local “I Have a Dream”® Projects around the country, and a public service campaign.

“Every organization needs a voice, and we are both excited and grateful to Anthony for sharing his story, his time and voice with others in order to send the message that all kids have the same potential for life and career success if given the support they need,” said Winton.


CONTACT:
Noelle Dong, Communications Specialist
(212) 293-5480, ext. 35
ndong@ihad.org







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