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

11 months 6 days 15 hours 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
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — Joanne Garone Behnke has replayed every possible scenario in her mind a hundred times. ... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 8:44:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Columbia Public School's out-of-school suspension rates for black students is double the rate of out-of-school suspensions given to white... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 8:06:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(AP) - Two companies facing multiple lawsuits over a summer tourist boat accident in Missouri that killed 17 people have... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 7:24:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) - A federal judge has dismissed adult film star Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump. Daniels... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 6:57:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
MEXICO - A Mexico teenager faces 27 counts of child sexual abuse. Probable cause documents allege 17-year-old Chandler Douse... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 6:39:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council is looking into a way to decrease oil and grease storage on city streets... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 6:35:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
FULTON - Two Columbia residents were taken into custody at a traffic stop Monday charged with the possession and distribution... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 5:27:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council is talking about building two roundabouts on Nifong Boulevard in an attempt to reduce... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 3:35:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) - Former Senate Intelligence Committee staff member James Wolfe pleaded guilty Monday to one count of lying to the... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 3:31:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A walkway outside of the Royal Inn off I-70 showed signs of structural damage Monday afternoon and guests... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 2:58:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) - It's been five days since Hurricane Michael decimated Mexico Beach, and dozens of residents are still nowhere to... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 2:30:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on fundraising in the Missouri U.S. Senate race (all times local): 3... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 1:52:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Gov. Mike Parson kicked off what he calls "Infrastructure Week" Monday morning at the Missouri Department of Conservation... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 1:26:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A federal judge says Missouri has violated the rights of people serving life in prison without parole for... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 11:35:48 AM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
MONITEAU COUNTY- A man was arrested and accused of trying to run over his girlfriend and son with a truck... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 11:28:00 AM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The Boone County Sheriff's Department is investigating a pair of armed robberies at convenience stores over the weekend. ... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 9:54:00 AM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Callaway County deputies found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia during a traffic stop early Sunday morning, according to... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 14 2018 Oct 14, 2018 Sunday, October 14, 2018 10:05:00 PM CDT October 14, 2018 in News
SLATER - Gloria is a 2-year-old pit bull who was found near Slater, Missouri after someone shot her in the... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 14 2018 Oct 14, 2018 Sunday, October 14, 2018 8:26:00 PM CDT October 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 31°
5am 33°
6am 32°
7am 31°
8am 34°