Coach Charles Gazaway on Mentoring Youth, Race in Sports and Surviving a Kidney/Pancreas Transplant – BONUS Episode

In light of all of the events of the past week surrounding the horrific death of George Floyd and the protests and demands for change that have sprung forth from this senseless tragedy, I found myself contemplating my own views on privilege, race relations, empathy for my fellow brothers and sisters and how our views are formed, how they can change for the better. A large part of my own change has been through my relationship with Coach Charles Gazaway, who I interviewed on The Virtual Couch podcast back in June of 2018.

In preparation for the episode at that time, I had reached out to the exclusively white parents of the basketball team that Coach Charles had been coaching for a few years at that time. There were wonderful comments from parents about teaching the kids hard work, determination, etc., but there were several comments by parents about Coach teaching that we’re all brothers and sisters, and that basketball was a vehicle to bring kids together from all races to work, as one, for a common goal. Coach is the major reason my son now has a very tight, close-knit group of black friends who love him as the brother that he is to them.

From the episode’s original description “Coach Charles Gazaway is a former professional basketball player from, as he puts it, “the hood, the inner city,” of Oakland. Coach started coaching my son, and a group of “lily white kids” from the suburbs almost 6 years ago and has taught them more about life, and people, through the game of basketball, than I could have ever imagined. A year and a half ago Coach suffered a serious medical setback temporarily losing his sight due to complications of diabetes, but he continued to coach through a kidney and pancreas transplant. He’s an amazing mentor, and role model to not just the kids, but to the parents as well. Coach led his team, in Cinderella-story-like fashion to qualify for the California games in San Diego.” As mentioned in the intro, you’ll hear a reference to donating for a trip to San Diego for the boys…that trip is long gone, but if you would like to donate to a charity of Coach Charles’ choice, you can do so here: PayPal.Me/TheVirtualCouch

I also reference a wonderful article titled: What Can I Say to an African American Friend as Anger Rises by Terry Porter of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, you can find that article here

Our original interview in its entirety (with two old sponsors that I believe no longer exist…they were edited out of this new recording) can be viewed on YouTube here

#coach Charles Gazaway #kidneytransplant #pancreastransplant #survivor on #coaching youth, #aaubasketball and on being a #mentor Coach Charles uses #basketball to teach valuable skills on #race and #racerelations to kids. #rolemodel #blacklivesmatter

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