A.C. Green in the Congressional Record

A.C. Green in the Congressional Record

Congressional Record

Washington, Tuesday, October 26, 1999

House of Representatives
Hon. Walter Jones of North Carolina in the House of Representatives

Mr. Speaker, one night last week, I watched Hannity & Colmes on the Fox News Channel. The show featured two professional athletes and a discussion on whether sports figures should be role models.

The men and women our children look to for guidance is an issue I have taken a great deal of interest in, especially in the last few years. In fact, I have come to the House floor a number of times to discuss the lack of morality within our society and its potential impact on our Nation's future.

Too many times the leaders and public figures our children look to for guidance fall short in their responsibility. Thank goodness for men and women at the local level who work to teach our youth the value that they need to succeed in life. They are the parents, the little league coaches, Boy Scout and Girl Scout leaders, and volunteers across this country. These individuals work directly with our children to encourage character and integrity in their lives and the lives of our children.

As Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, ''The noblest services come from the nameless hands, and the best servant does his work unseen.''

Mr. Speaker, I agree with this statement. In fact, I wish that more of our children could see their parents and community leaders as the heroes they truly are. Too often the athletes and actors our children look up to fail our children. They may have money or fame, but their own behavior often lacks the sense of responsibility our children must see in order to succeed in life.

Thank goodness there are exceptions. As I watch Hannity & Colmes, I was most impressed to see one fine athlete who takes his position as a role model very seriously. In fact, he uses his success and popularity to help children gain the skills they need to succeed.

A.C. Green is a forward with the Los Angeles Lakers. He began his professional basketball career in 1985 after graduating from college. He has a record-setting career, playing for such teams as the Phoenix Suns, the Dallas Mavericks, and the L.A. Lakers, that has earned him recognition among sports fans and respect among his colleagues.

While A.C. Green is best known for his talents on the court, it is his dedication to our Nation's children that makes him a role model we can all respect.

In 1989, A.C. Green created a youth foundation in his name to help our children realize their potential and work to achieve their goals. In fact, the foundation's mission statement reads, ''Our goal is to serve both the youth and the communities in which they live by providing information about sexual abstinence and social issues that concern our young people and educating them to make responsible choices to prepare them for their future.''

The A.C. Green Youth Foundation believes that young people must develop morally, ethically, educationally, physically, and mentally to fulfill their dreams and goals in life.

Mr. Speaker, as part of his program for youth, A.C. Green created a leadership camp that over 100 boys and girls take part in each year. The summer basketball camp focuses on academics, career discovery, and offers self-esteem counseling. It reaches out to those children who have been abused or maybe economically disadvantaged and encourages leadership and teamwork. Perhaps most important, A.C. Green takes the time to personally supervise the camp and interact with the children.

In addition, his foundation has also created abstinence curriculum for today's youth called ''I've Got the Power.'' The program teaches students to recognize their self worth, realize boundaries, and learn to make responsible decisions. These are the values we must work to encourage in the lives of our children.

Mr. Speaker, A.C. Green's commitment to his community is deserving of our recognition. As a basketball player and as a community servant, A.C. Green is a true role model.

Having found success at a young age, he is now working to help those less fortunate realize their own dreams and work to their fullest potential. His efforts and those like his should be honored and encouraged.

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank A.C. Green and every one of our Nation's role models who make a difference in the lives of our Nation's children, for the children are America's future.

I thank A.C. Green for helping to ensure a strong America tomorrow and in the future.