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

8 months 1 week 1 day 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
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Three Fulton men are in custody after being charged with stealing and drug offenses, in connection to... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 9:01:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
FULTON - A judge sentenced a man convicted of a dozen sex crimes, some involving children, to sixty years in... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 8:05:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States is open to holding direct talks with the Taliban to encourage negotiations between the... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 4:30:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) - A 29-year-old gun-rights activist served as a covert Russian agent while living in Washington, gathering intelligence on... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 4:14:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – City council approved two public hearings in August to discuss possible increases to the property tax and sewer... More >>
2 days ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 7:46:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Former Gov. Eric Greitens' campaign spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees in his... More >>
2 days ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 7:03:27 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to rename the Columbia post office located on Walnut... More >>
2 days ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 6:51:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's U.S. senators are standing by the intelligence community's conclusion that the Russians interfered in the... More >>
2 days ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 5:10:30 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A man who was fatally shot after wounding three Kansas City police officers during a gunfight... More >>
2 days ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 3:30:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY - A group responsible for ballot petition advocating major reform in Jefferson City said they are almost positive... More >>
2 days ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 3:19:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A dialogue that began in October 2017 among the East Campus community could finally have an answer Monday.... More >>
2 days ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 2:10:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Bidders have spent nearly $80,000 for baseball memorabilia a former Kansas City Royals second baseman put... More >>
2 days ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 1:51:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
(CNN Money) -- Adidas is racing to make its products more sustainable. The global sportswear maker said Monday that... More >>
2 days ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 1:18:32 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A common drug used to control blood pressure and help prevent heart failure was announced by the US... More >>
2 days ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 1:05:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- US President Donald Trump said Monday he holds both the United States and Russia responsible for the breakdown... More >>
2 days ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 11:08:00 AM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Work to remove several large pin oaks from Mizzou's Francis Quadrangle began Monday after a recent study showed... More >>
2 days ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 10:17:00 AM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
BEIJING (AP) — China announced it filed a World Trade Organization challenge Monday to President Donald Trump's latest tariff threat,... More >>
2 days ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 9:52:57 AM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
HELSINKI (AP) — President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin opened their long-awaited summit Monday with a wink and slouch,... More >>
2 days ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 9:37:00 AM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 79°
12am 78°
1am 77°
2am 74°
3am 73°