Thursday, March 21, 2013

Meet basketball champion Anthony Wilson

Anthony & Jamar
To tell the story of Anthony Wilson, The Salvation Army West Mabee Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year, is to also tell a story about Jamar Giddings, West Mabee club director. I’ve heard many stories of Jamar’s personal involvement and support of the club members, and Anthony’s story backs them up. I met Anthony earlier this week at the club. Anthony said he moved with him mom, Antoinnette, and his older brother from Chicago to Tulsa when he was five years old. His brother didn’t like to be with new people, but school friends of Anthony’s convinced him to try out the West Mabee Club.

Anthony said he immediately felt comfortable at the club and has been there ever since. He said his older brother is now in jail because of his bad decisions, but he has stayed on a positive path because of Jamar and the club.

“Jamar is a father figure to me. When I moved to South Tulsa, he’d pick me up at home so that I could be at the club every day. He picked me up the entire year when I was in the seventh grade,” Anthony said. 

One of the highlights of his club experience was winning the Salvation Army League Basketball Championship when he was in the fifth grade. Last week, he played with the Webster Warriors in their first state championship game in ten years. Six players on the 12-member team grew up playing basketball at the West Mabee Boys & Girls Club. Wilson is a point guard on the team and hopes to get a basketball scholarship to Bacone College in Muskogee next year. He plans to major in business and communications.
Anthony Wilson

I can’t help but wonder if Anthony had not joined the West Mabee Club and had not met Jamar if he would have ended up being on a championship team looking forward to college. I’m glad Jamar and the club programs helped teach Anthony to make good decisions in life. Anthony told me his Youth of the Year speech is going to be “from the heart.” I can’t wait to hear it at the banquet Monday evening!

If you are interested in attending the Youth of the Year Banquet, please call Jean Smith at 918-835-6902. Tables and individual tickets are available. If you would like to learn more about volunteering at a Boys & Girls Club, please call Jenny McElyea at 918-587-7801.

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