Athletes Lead by Example On and Off the Field

Sunday, 02 May 2010 09:17 Written by  Administrator
By Ebony L. McCline

Kobe Bryant, Reggie Bush, Derek Jeter and Tiger Woods—you can identify with at least one of these names even if you are not a sports fan. For most young men, especially African-American youths, the goal is to become a professional player of some sort—basketball, football, baseball or even golf!

Society has played an important role in promoting sports as an alternative to almost everything, in some instances, even a college education. Many well-known athletes have chosen to go pro, instead of pursuing a college degree.

In most cases, from the time young men are able to dribble, throw or hit a ball, parents instill in them that if not for any other reason, sports are a way to keep them occupied, productive and most importantly, out of the streets.

Sometimes, even if the dream is to go pro (which may be virtually impossible for everyone to do), semi-pro, minor league or anything of the sort would suffice.

For 26-year-old Demarcus James (pictured below with his father, Coach Marcus James),  football is the sport of choice. His involvement in sports like track, basketball and football were always alternatives to doing things that would have eventually led him down the wrong path, he says.

“The sports that I’ve played help me to better myself and keep myself in a better position,” James says. “This way I wouldn’t go out and do the things some people would do to get myself into trouble.”

The corner back for the Richmond Revolution, a team in the Indoor Football League, is not just a football player. Even though a normal week may consist of at least one game and practice each day, James and his teammates find the time for one of the most important aspects—giving back.

Giving back comes in many forms, and it is done in various states across the country. It could be going to high schools and middle schools to speak to young adults, appearances at businesses, fundraisers and motivational speaking to name a few.

The goal is to guide the youth by showing them examples of positive role models, he says.

In addition to playing for the Richmond Revolution, James is a member of Team James, a company dedicated primarily to developing young men into better players, building character and giving back to not just one community, but as many communities as possible.

Coach James, owner of Team James and father of Demarcus, represents various football players in the Indoor Football League, the Southern Football League, the Canadian Football League and the National Football League (NFL).  As someone who has played football professionally, James felt that the “little guy” was not getting the right or enough representation that he deserved. So, he took on the task of molding talented players and made sure they were afforded the same opportunities that he received. A major benefit—his son was his first signee. However, Coach James does not cut him any slack.

“Do I work him harder than everyone else?” says Coach James. “Yes, I do.”

That technique seems to work, because James leads the other members of Team James both on and off the field by being the one to inspire them, Coach James says. They work with the homeless, women and children and hold camps for children who may not normally have the experience of having a professional athlete around.

At Team James, it is about collectiveness. So, even though James is a key part, other members play important roles. Full back/line backer Marcus Aveis brings a level head to the field and he is a workhorse. Jamar Dials is a great learner and works hard. The two youngest members Marquies Pace and Marcus Ross are hungry and eager to learn, Coach James adds.

Coach James tries to instill two things in his players and today’s youth: character and a hard work ethic.

“Through hard work we can accomplish anything and achieve our goals,” he says.


Ebony's Facts: Ebony L. McCline is a new staff writer for She can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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