Jul 6, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — It is an everyday moment at the Raleigh Boy's and Girl's club – Ron Williams commanding the undivided attention of young people.
"You work with kids; give them guidance,” explained Williams. “(Be) there for them when they need you."
For decades, Williams has been there. He has been in the Raleigh community helping countless kids succeed in life and sports - there is no exact number and it would be pointless to try and guess one.
North Carolina Central University head basketball coach LeVelle Moton was one of those kids.
"I definitely wouldn't be here,” Moton said. “I'd be dead. Or incarcerated, just like a number of kids I grew up with."
Moton worked his way from the projects to become the conference player of the year at NC Central. Now he runs the program.
"It's young men like me who have grown through his guidance,” Moton said. “I have a platform now and can share his story."
Williams started working at the Boys and Girls Club in 1977 - before the facilities were adequate.
"When I first came to the Boys Club, we didn't have a gym," Williams said.
So he worked to get the gym built. Once it was, he started a league.
"I had five different leagues and you graduated from each league with things you had to learn," Williams explained. "I think the teamwork was what the kids needed to feel part of something special."
John Wall, P.J. Tucker, Moton and so many others got their start in the very program started by Williams.
"You have a bunch of guys with challenging backgrounds and attention spans of five seconds and we were all attracted to sports," Moton said.
And to the man who made those sports a reality, giving generations of underprivileged youth hope and a reason to smile.
Do you know of somebody that has made a difference in the community through sports and hasn’t received the recognition they deserve? Nominate them to be featured on Hometown Spotlight.