For Keynon Lake’s My Daddy Taught Me That program, youth are our greatest resource.
As a kid, Asheville’s Keynon Lake had basketball in his DNA. His father, Bennie, was a professional player with the Harlem Globetrotters from 1968 to 1972, and Keynon, a high school star, would play for both the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and North Carolina Central University, later playing professionally overseas.
But there was more than just sports in Lake’s DNA. His father was also a social worker at the Juvenile Evaluation Center, additionally mentoring sports-inclined youth and emphasizing the need for an education. He told his son about an opening at the Buncombe County Department of Social Services, and it was there that the younger Lake would have the proverbial lightbulb moment: At work he began noticing that kids coming from Child Protective Services were typically being raised by single mothers. The realization was all the more jarring when he considered how fortunate he was to have been raised by a pair of devoted, hard-working parents, both exemplary role models.
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