Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: Area needs more like James, Whitworth
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|Area needs more like James, Whitworth|
In the last four years, local NFL star Bradie James has returned to the area to put on a totally free football camp for Ouachita Parish kids.
James was here this past weekend to host about 200 Ouachita Parish youth at West Monroe High School's Rebel Stadium to teach them about both football and the work ethic it takes to be successful in life.
In July, another West Monroe product who graduated from LSU before moving onto a starting role in the NFL will return to West Monroe to hold a football camp for Ouachita Parish high school students.
Andrew Whitworth, "Big Whit" as friends call him, is giving back to the community that supported his every move through the years and helped shape him into the success he currently is with the Cincinnati Bengals. His Big Whit 77 Foundation is now giving back.
Neither guy is 30 yet, but they are doing something that numerous older, wealthier, more established local athletes have not done in recent years, they are teaching and mentoring to the local youth.
Could anything be more important than that?
I don't think so either.
Super Bowl legends from the area like Terry Bradshaw, Stan Humphries and Doug Williams never hosted a camp for youth in the area. Williams hosted high school camps while being head coach at GSU, but never for elementary or middle school age players.
Bradshaw and Humphries also started Super Bowl games, and Bradshaw won the big game four times. While both have helped out their respective local universities and assisted those athletic departments improve in ways, neither has impacted the lives of young people in the way of Whitworth and James.
James has also started a foundation in honor of his deceased mother, Etta James, who died of breast cancer.
Some of the impact you see these two making in Ouachita Parish is something that long-time MVP veterans of the league have not done in their own home towns at all.
It just goes to show how lucky and blessed we are as sports fans in this area. We have local heroes that give us years of joy and big moments.