BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Downtown Dale Brown was the nickname given to Pascagoula native, Dale Brown. He once played for the Sacramento Kings, but now he lives back here in South Mississippi and spends a lot of time mentoring youth.
"I just want to encourage all the kids, let them know that's the way to go. Keep them out of trouble, stay off the streets, and just let them know that I was able to make it out of here with basketball going to college," said Brown.
Brown calls himself an underprivileged kid with an absent father and single mom who struggled to raise seven children.
"Basketball was my way out of Pascagoula, a way to further my education at Kentucky. The good Lord blessed me. I was able to go to the University of Kentucky, and I played on two Final Four teams there, and it was a lot of fun. I just want a lot of kids to experience some of the same things I experienced.
The event was entitled "Why to Avoid the Trap", and it was hosted at the Beatrice Brown community center. Dawud Salaam helped organize the event and he also shared a personal story with the students.
"I've been to the prison system or in the prison system in two different states, three times," said Salaam.
Salaam knows just how hard it is to get out of the prison system once you're already deemed a convict.
"If you see the statistics, one in three blacks, males in particular, will end up in prison," said Salaam.
Although these topics can be heavy, the speakers agree that in today's society it's important to catch boys and girls when they are young and encourage them to make good choices.
Dale Brown says he is in the beginning stages of building a sportsplex in south Mississippi for underprivileged kids.