Booker T. Chambers has a dream of making a difference in his hometown.
The former Greenwood High and Mississippi Valley State standout has decided he wants to give back to the community he grew up in and help young kids.
“My goal is to bring back positive things to the youth in this city by starting a youth football team,” said Chambers, who graduated from MVSU in 2018 after playing for the Delta Devils’ football team for four years. “Me being a young Black man, I feel like I can bring a positive influence to young kids. I learned so much on the playing field, and my hope is that this program can help kids who maybe come from single-parent homes.
“We’re going to concentrate on a youth football team for ages 13-14,” he said. “My little brother (Kobe Chambers) also played on the youth teams as I did growing up, but it seems like those teams have been falling off. We want to get the kids together and play as one, whether they come from Greenwood or Itta Bena.”
Chambers said the team is going to join the American Youth Football League, an organization that is funded by NFL teams and former and current players.
“I think by having this youth travel team will keep the kids busy and also teach them so many things from our leaders we have on board,” Chambers said. “The AYFL offers many chances to make that happen. I know this is a big step in what can change our youth and community as a whole, but I feel that if we don’t make this change now, we won’t make it at all.”
Chambers, who was named the Commonwealth’s Player of the Year following his senior season in 2014 at GHS, knows there is a lot of planning and preparation required to realize his vision. He said he’s already working on acquiring equipment for the players, but is in need of sponsors to help fund the team so they may be able to play teams from other cities and states.
“I’d like to see us catch up to what other cities are doing and get these kids exposed to playing kids they may see in the future on the field,” Chambers said. “We have two teams who are already playing in the Bullpups and Raiders (ages 9-12). A lot of us played for one of them during our peewee days.
“My goal is to take the kids we get and teach them the fundamentals of the game so they can be prepared when they reach the high school level.”
Chambers is presently serving as a coach at Greenwood Middle School and also helps out with the high school team, although the Bulldogs did not play this past year because of the cancellation of the season due to the coronavirus.
Chambers can be reached at 662-299-0105 or by email at email@example.com for more information.
• Contact Calvin Stevens at 581-7234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.