Gary Pinkel, L'Damian Washington give back to Douglass students

10 months 1 week 5 days ago Wednesday, November 08 2017 Nov 8, 2017 Wednesday, November 08, 2017 4:46:00 PM CST November 08, 2017 in Sports
By: Anthony Romano, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – To say L’Damian Washington had a difficult childhood would be an understatement.

His father was murdered when he was five years old. His mother had a stroke and died at one of his high school basketball games when he was 15.

Now, Washington is using his experiences to inspire future generations.

“Growing up as a kid, going through the struggle that I went through, going to alternative school and just kind of knowing that sometimes your thoughts could be so negative, there's not really much hope to grasp on to,” Washington said.

So he and his former head coach at Missouri, Gary Pinkel, teamed up to help bring hope to students at Douglass High School on Monday.

In an event called “One Step Forward,” a packed auditorium of students, teachers and other members of the community listened to Pinkel give words of wisdom before watching an emotional video detailing Washington’s path through childhood to playing college football to attempting to make it to the NFL.

“L'Damian Washington came from a very challenging background and has remarkable success, so he's going to do such a great job, and he will instantly be a role model for all those kids," Pinkel said.

After the video, Washington addressed the audience before revealing the event’s surprise: a pair of brand new Nike sneakers for every student.

“It's one step forward and it's about getting up every day and putting your shoes on and taking another step,” Pinkel said. “Some days it's not a whole lot of fun doing that and that's what we're going to be talking about.”

The event’s sponsors, ZOUNation Magazine, Missouri Employers Mutual and Academy Sports, helped make the gifts possible.

For Washington, giving back in Columbia is just the first step.

"This is the place that gave me hope, that gave me opportunity, that gave me a chance when most places didn't give me a chance so to come back, for me, hopefully it starts here,” Washington said. “Hopefully I make my way back to Shreveport, Louisiana, because that's where my roots are, but I have to start here."

Washington currently plays for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League. He came to the Columbia event immediately after his regular season ended before traveling back north of the border for the team's upcoming playoff game on Sunday.

More News

Grid
List
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The daughter of an 84-year-old woman with dementia alleges in a lawsuit that... More >>
36 minutes ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 8:45:07 AM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
VIENNA, Mo. - The Maries County Sheriff's Office SWAT Team, assisted by Missouri State Highway Patrol officers, arrested an armed... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 6:22:00 AM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Attorneys general from West Virginia and 10 other states are asking the U.S.... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 5:34:37 AM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- From January 2016 through February 2018, puppies sold at six pet store companies led to infections in 118... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 4:26:41 AM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's Stop Human Trafficking Coalition's 2018 conference is taking place this weekend and is a reminder that... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, September 21 2018 Sep 21, 2018 Friday, September 21, 2018 2:54:00 AM CDT September 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU's Department of Health Professions will be crafting a new curriculum starting Friday after the MU Board of... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 8:04:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- A new MU Research building is set to be built by October 2021, after the MU Board of Curators... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 7:32:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A warning from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services closed Stephens Lake Thursday afternoon. Columbia... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 6:19:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The longtime aide of former Democratic leader Mike Sanders was sentenced to six months in... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 6:00:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County Family Resources is just too big. Now, the agency wants a new building with more parking... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 5:46:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri prosecutor says he won't press charges related to allegations of conflicts of interest... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 5:42:47 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
SUNRISE BEACH - Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District Board President Brian Layman resigned Thursday. Layman's resignation follows Fire Chief... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 5:07:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
ASHLAND - The Missouri State Education Board outlined a budget that would increase transportation funding for Missouri schools. "The... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 4:49:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Commission will soon be accepting applications for anyone interested in leasing the former fairgrounds. ... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 3:47:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Planned Parenthood says abortions will stop at its Columbia clinic after Oct. 1 unless a federal... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 3:43:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - November elections are approaching, but behind campaign speeches and electoral yard signs, Boone County is struggling to reach... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 3:29:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Gov. Mike Parson is considering changes to Missouri regulations to help address a shortage of... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 3:19:36 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County Prosecutor's Office said Thursday it will not pursue charges in connection with the investigation... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 3:15:00 PM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
10am 73°
11am 74°
12pm 76°
1pm 76°