Almond Athletics is a non-profit organization that was founded by Rice University graduate Morris Almond in 2013. Below are a few excerpts from Morris explaining the essence of his organization:
“I think it’s important for any athlete who’s found some sort of success and balance in life to reach back and play a big brother role to those following in their footsteps,” says Almond.
“This game has afforded me so much over the years, and has been a huge part of my life ever since my dad introduced the sport to me as an infant. I received a full scholarship and obtained a college degree through basketball. I built my parents a house through basketball. I’ve met the President of the United States, and I’ve traveled all over the world all because of basketball.”
After seven years as a professional on the highest level, Almond explains how he sought a different type of fulfillment.
“I reached a point in my life where I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. Getting involved in my community through this organization gave me the perfect opportunity to do that. I was fortunate enough to experience some success basketball-wise, and therefore it’s my obligation…almost my civic duty…to reach back and help guide younger players that will be following in my footsteps, just like the role models in my community helped guide me as I was growing up.”
Almond continues to elaborate on the essence of his organization: “Character and personal integrity have been just as important to my progression as a basketball player as my natural ability and raw talent. I can directly attribute my athletic achievements to the commitment I made to an unwavering code of ethics; ethics that included being a good teammate, respecting my coaches, and giving my best effort at all times. These were things that were engrained in my mentality at a young age by my parents and mentors, and gave me the foundation I needed to help me excel as I progressed furthered in my career.”
“Now, my status as a professional athlete has given me a voice and a platform to relay this same mantra to younger athletes. There’s a key component in the formula of athletic excellence that often times gets overlooked in favor of the ability to run fast and jump high, and that’s strong character. That’s one of the pillars of success in sports, and more importantly, life in general. At Almond Athletics, our goal is to champion that particular attribute, through basketball tournaments, camps, and other related events. We call it ‘hiding the medicine in the candy’.”
Definitely food for thought.