From trailer to NBA: Adebayo’s roots inspire 5th-graders

Published 3:12 pm Friday, November 17, 2023

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By Ellen Brabo

For the Washington Daily News

The Bam Adebayo Foundation, in collaboration with Northeast Elementary School, orchestrated a field trip Friday for 5th-grade students, delving into the roots of NBA star Bam Adebayo’s journey from a humble trailer in Plymouth, to the soaring heights of professional basketball.

Dubbed “Humble Beginnings,” the field trip kicked off at Adebayo’s childhood home, where the students, wide-eyed and eager, were guided through a discussion led by Marquita McCulley, the foundation’s director. The trailer, nestled in the North Carolina floodplain, served as the backdrop for reflections on Adebayo’s upbringing and the pivotal role his mother, Marilyn, played.

“How are you going to make it to the top in whatever you’re in, and how will you give back to your community?” challenged McCulley. She emphasized Adebayo’s dedication to hard work and community service.

The foundation aims to instill a sense of resilience and dedication in these students, emphasizing that success is attainable through hard work and perseverance. Adebayo’s passion for basketball, rooted in his modest beginnings, motivated him to establish the Bam Adebayo Foundation, aiming to uplift single mothers and empower ‘at-promise’ youth.

“My favorite part is spreading joy and seeing the smiles on kids’ faces while sharing the exposure for them to dream bigger,” expressed McCulley, underlining the foundation’s mission to inspire greatness in young minds. She envisions the impact extending beyond the field trip, encouraging students to recognize their own potential for greatness.

Mason Smith, a 5th-grade student aspiring to become a major league baseball player, found inspiration in the unlikely setting.

“Do your best in whatever your dreams are going to be,” shared Smith, reflecting on the valuable lessons learned during the discussion.

The day’s itinerary also included stops at the North Carolina Estuarium and lunch at Golden Corral in Greenville. The foundation strategically selected 5th-grade students, as it was Adebayo’s favorite grade during his time at Northeast Elementary. The tour of the Estuarium aligned with Adebayo’s fondness for science, his favorite subject in school.

From the foundation’s website, a poignant reminder encapsulates Adebayo’s journey: “Never forget where you came from, and never lose sight of where you are going.”

As the students return to their classrooms with newfound inspiration, the impact of the “Humble Beginnings” field trip echoes the foundation’s commitment to fostering dreams and strengthening the bonds within communities. Adebayo’s story serves as a testament to the power of perseverance and the profound impact of giving back to one’s roots.