Amar’e Stoudemire Shares Inspiring Words with Rikers Island Teens
Stoudemire was part of a panel that also included ex-Knick and Syracuse star John Wallace, NBA veteran Etan Thomas and Malcolm X’s grandson, Malcom Shabazz, rapper Styles P and ESPN’s Chris Broussard. The Rumble went along for the visit.
Stoudemire got a gigantic ovation before getting serious when he took the microphone.
“The plan for us is not to succeed, and it goes back to when there was slavery,’’ Stoudemire told the assembled. “What you got to do is look at yourself in the mirror and say: ‘What am I going to do so I will not be a number?’
“In the school systems, our neighborhoods, it’s a hard situation for us. But you got to be man enough to know you got to be good fathers and stay out of here after you get back home.’’
Afterward, Stoudemire said he had never done this before.
“The message we want to get across is fatherhood,” Stoudemire told The New York Post’s Rumble Marc Berman. “A lot of young brothers who are fathers are incarcerated. … We’re going to keep their spirits up.”
“We couldn’t be more grateful to Amare Stoudimire and the other stars for coming to Riker’s Island to inspire today’s young men to stand tall in the face of daunting challenges,” said chief Michael Hourihane.
Thomas, born in Harlem and a former Syracuse star, told the prisoners, “Amar’e and I were on CNN [Thursday] and we told the interviewer we were coming to Rikers Island. She said, ‘Why are you doing that? They’ve already given up on life.’ That’s what she said on live TV. There’s a lot of haters out there.”