His mother had a crack addiction, he said, and ended up in jail for four years. Jones figures it took him three years to get moving after that. “We wanted to promote to the kids you don’t have to be a street person, be into the drugs or typical things that go on around here, to be successful.” “We ended up having a hundred kids on bikes that day.” Carr said. Showing how you can have a trade.” They think of Born Leader Family as a brand that can leave the neighborhood and eventually the city.
His grandparents took him in, “which saved my life, in my opinion.” But his grandparents were older, he said, so deciding to leave University City High and go off to a powerhouse basketball prep school in North Carolina, Mount Zion, was all up to him. We always put what’s supposed to be most important first.” Walking up to join Carr at the rec center, Jones starts his own story with the night of his last college game. The constant question: “What the hell am I going to do?
“In a sense, I’m paying to play basketball,” Jones said. His goal now, he said, is to get young guys in the neighborhood thinking past that hoop, even if they’re getting to the rim easily, even if they’re scoring. He can tell them about living earlier in his grandmother’s house at 57th and Greenwood, pretty much his entire family in those four bedrooms. “Second shot,” Jones said of the 10-year-old dribbling between his legs.
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That fledgling brand and their evolving agenda go in all sorts of directions, all interesting. All the time using their own life hurdles as a guidepost. Joseph’s and professionally overseas, won’t think twice about calling an attorney asking how you build a non-profit corporation, how you raise charitable support. “My voice is just loud,” Carr said laughing, then interrupting the conversation … They have been working together for a couple of months on ballhandling.
Jones thinks about how that one video class at Widener, taken as his basketball career was ending, opened a door for him. That was good enough for us.” Carr, 31, doesn’t tell the young ballplayers his whole story. “He likes to get on you, guard you,” Arcidiacono said with a tone of approval.
Charles was on my AAU team, for Sam Rines.” When he got the Girard job, Jordan said, “I had known all this stuff they were doing, with their Born Leader program. Myers Recreation Center, 58th and Kingsessing, Southwest Philadelphia.
Those boxes of And1 sneakers coming out of the trunk? “I used to give all my sneakers away,” Jones said, thinking back almost two decades.
“My mom was in prison for drug charges,” Carr said. She got mixed up with some guys, got found with a huge amount of drugs in the home we were all living in. “I was a young kid who was still in la la world, used to getting everything free, running around doing what I want, no real consequences behind the things I was doing because I was a talented basketball player. He can tell you about a father who was in and out of jail, but a father who also helped him get a construction job after college. He can also tell you about how he thought he’d been a failure at basketball because he didn’t make it big, until other ballplayers kept pointing out that he won championships everywhere he played, every level.
Especially playing Division II — I was a valued player at that level so I was able to get away with things.” Then Jones got to Widener and all of a sudden bills were showing up for a few thousand dollars. Jones pointed to his son, Charles Jr., with the ball in his hands now, working out with him at Girard.
“What I had to put into it mentally, outside the court,” Carr said. One is where we come from, some of the ways we’re raised, the lack of structure. ” This summer, they said, they did a “bikes up, guns down” event at Bartram Gardens. “All the guys who are down with our movement, we want to just really put the brand out there, put the gear out there,” Carr said.
I made every decision for my whole entire life since I was 14 years old. Picture a place where you have many trials and errors, like many people do, but I just think it puts you at a disadvantage, when you don’t have that kind of structure.” His upbringing includes West Philly and Southwest Philly. “We wanted to promote the nonviolence,” Jones said. We always have free [basketball] clinics.” They’re also working with a local auto body shop, “getting eight to ten kids, showing how to build a car from scratch. “Our goal is to have the whole world know about Born Leader Family, what we’re doing and our agenda.” Just like that car that used to pull into their neighborhood.