Houston, TX, January 17, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Houston (BBBS) has named Houston Rockets Guard Mike James as its first celebrity spokesperson in an effort to encourage more of Houston’s men to become Big Brothers. As spokesperson, James will appear in the non-profit agency’s “Go Big!” recruitment campaign. He will also offer scholarships to his basketball camp for “Littles,” donate tickets to several Rockets home games this season, and will help the agency in its fundraising efforts.
“We are excited to have Mike James on our team,” said Marian Davenport, BBBS President and CEO. “Mike’s work with children is well-known, and it is a perfect fit with Big Brothers Big Sisters and the impact we have on the children of Houston.”
In radio and TV advertisements, Mike urges Houston’s men to step up and “Go Big” by becoming Big Brothers. James feels it is his responsibility as a professional athlete to set an example for the youth in his community and his peers by giving of his time and resources to a cause that benefits the city of Houston.
“When I learned that the waiting list for mentors for African American boys numbered in the hundreds, I was shocked,” James said. “I know how important mentoring is to these kids. We’ve got to get more men involved. They need to know it is not a huge commitment - just four hours a month. You don’t have to be rich or have a degree, just be willing to spend quality time with a kid that needs a Big Brother. I’m here to spread the word - to make a difference.”
As a youth growing up in the tough streets of Amityville New York, James has firsthand experience of the negative elements that African American males face, and that has been the catalyst for his involvement in the program.
Currently, the agency has more than 1,100 children waiting for a volunteer mentor. Almost 800 of them are little boys.
“Many of the boys on our waiting list just need a Big Brother to spend some time with,” Davenport said. “It’s not about money or drastically changing your life. Just about four hours a month is all it takes to make an impact.”
About Mike James
Like basketball, giving back to the community is in his soul. James hosts youth basketball camps in Minnesota, Houston, Pittsburgh and New York, an annual free day in the park with concerts and HIV and glaucoma testing, college scholarships to deserving youth, and is involved in a variety of other community giving projects. For more information on Mike James and the Mike James Foundation, please visit www.MikeJames7.com.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Houston
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Houston creates successful one-to-one mentoring relationships for all local children and teenagers who need and want them resulting in better schools, brighter futures, and stronger communities for all. Their mentoring relationships have a measurable impact on children. A national study found that children in the BBBS program are less likely to skip school, less likely to try drugs and alcohol, less likely to use violence to solve problems, and are more likely to get along with their families. In 2007, BBBS served 2,300 children in the Greater Houston area. For more information about how they are changing what it means to grow up in their community, head to their website, www.gobighouston.org. BBBS is a United Way Agency.