Photo by Christopher Duclos
Paul Jones takes a free throw late in the game.

Big names play in celebrity basketball game at Ballard High School

'Bring Our Sonics Back' event also about supporting community, youth

By Christopher Duclos

Last Saturday, while many were outside enjoying the sun and the Solstice Parade, another event was happening within the doors of Ballard high School. A celebrity basketball brought together big names -- SuperSonics Slick Watts, rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot, actor Suli McCullough, just to name a few -- to reinforce the community's burning desire to bring back the Sonics.

The event, “Bring Our Sonics Back,” was presented by local rap artist Edawg and Movement clothing. A portion of the proceeds benefited the Joey Thomas foundation, founded by former NFL football player and Ballard High School head football coach.

“Joey is a good friend of mine, he's been working with kids throughout his NFL career and hes always trying to do something for kids. I trust him to do good with the proceeds with the event because I trust him as a person,” Edawg said.

“I wanted to do something to benefit the local community youths from the boys and girls clubs,” Edawg said. “All of my community events tend to focus on bringing role models forward to inspire young kids to accomplish their goals in life. I wanted to promote a message of family and togetherness.”

While taking a break from hip-hop music, Edawg has devoted himself to benefiting the community through inspiring the youth.

“I grew up in Seattle’s Rainer district. While my family didn’t grow up with very much, I worked at the local food back because there was never much to eat at home. My mom did everything I could to raise us. I often went to the local boys/girls clubs and lived the unfortunate life. After getting into my hip-hop music career, I met Sir Mix-A-Lot. He inspired me to do great things in music. He saved my life. I quickly snapped out of a life of trouble,” Edawg said.

to this day, Sir Mix-A-Lot's inspiration carries on. Without the veteran rapper's guidance, Edawg would not be the established figure he is today.

“Everyone knows (Sir Mix-A-Lot) for his song about liking big butts, which can sometimes bring a negative view. What people don’t know is that he’s a very clean and educated man that can say a lot of wisdom. In the hip-hop business, we never think much about the kids that listen to our music, that take our messages to heart and get inspired. I took a five-six year break from hip-hop to put together events/programs to bring up young people, just like Sir Mix-a-Lot helped bring me up,” Edawg said.

For the game participants, it was a chance to give back to the community.

“It’s always an honor to me to give back. Whenever somebody asks, I make time to do events like these. The community is very important,” said game participant, KUBE 93.3 on-air personality and former Seattle Sonics DJ Supa Sam. Supa Sam was one of many big names in sports and music that suited up to participate in the event.

“It’s really all for the kids,” said TV actor Trae Ireland. “It’s all for putting money into organizations that can enhance their facilities and programs to benefit the local youth.”

“I love it, I love the community, I love the people and I love playing basketball, it’s a no-brainer for me to come out and show my support for these events,” said former UW basketball player Donald Watts, who is very involved with bringing youth up using the sport of basketball with his organization Watts Basketball.

Brian Robinson of sonicsrising.com, who coached the celebrity teams with former Sonics player Slick Watts, shared his thoughts about the event.

“I think there’s huge value in bringing the community together. I think there’s a real lack of awareness in the number of basketball events that happen in the community, all of them really well intentioned. It’s always a fun time. I come out whenever people call,” he said.

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