BALTIMORE — For a few hours on a Friday night it was nothing but smiles laughter and the game of basketball.
Every year S.T.A.N.D Mentorship holds a huge father son basketball game in Upton at the Robert C. Marshall Rec Center.
“I just want to have fun really,” said Jordan Jones who was playing for the son team.
With Baltimore Funny Man Big Fred Watkins on the mic, and Mike Battle on the grill- a good time was guaranteed.
“It helps some of the kids have a relationship with fathers and play with them,” said 10-year-old Naim El-Amin.
From the opening ceremony to tip off, this day of hoops and happiness was infectious to be around.
A creation of STAND Mentorship founder Tigana Duncan.
“They see men that come out here and support them,” Duncan said. “Not just their fathers,uncles, and grandfathers, but they got men they don’t even know that say hey I will come out and play basketball with you guys. Help you I’ll mentor you for a day, get in your life and continue this relationship. Because they understand the importance of having that male role model in their lives.”
Dr. Andrey Bundley with We Our Us hopes people see this and want to join in for more events like this across the city.
“If we can do this in one place in Baltimore, we can do this in a thousand places in Baltimore,” Bundley said. “We just got to have individuals who have the will of the leadership to put this together. We do have those individuals we just have to support them.”
Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby played on the father's team and talked about growing up without his dad around and how he can use his platform to help.
“We talked about the condition of this court right,” Mosby saidZ. “We have to just pour more into our young folks. We expect them to do so much and expect so much out of them. We understand and know what they are faced with on a daily basis.”
It was a chance for fathers to show the sons what experience looks like— and the men got the chance to build lasting connections.
“It’s an honor for us to be striving to be a role model for these young men,” said Andrew Muhammad. “Many of them don’t have fathers. We grew up with our fathers, myself and doc. We basically here to not only set examples but let them know we here for support and love. If they got any questions, it’s long term with us.”
It was A day of basketball where we could all take a timeout and learn from everyone on this court.
“Everybody is loved and don’t ever feel like you’re down and always have someone to pick yourself up,” said Tracis Majette who was playing for the Son team.