RACINE— MarJon Beauchamp, an NBA first-round draft pick playing for the Milwaukee Bucks, headed straight from one gym to another on Jan. 18 for his first giveback event in Racine.
Roosevelt students make their way into the gym at Roosevelt Elementary, 915 Romanye Ave. – Credit: Emma Widmar
After finishing basketball practice, the 22-year-old spent his afternoon with students at Roosevelt Elementary, 915 Romayne Ave., where he and the MarJon Beauchamp Foundation distributed items like notebooks, crayons and pencils.
This is the time of year when students begin to run out of supplies and need to restock according to Racine Unified School District.
This young basketball star’s generosity came at the perfect time.
The school supply giveaway, led by Beauchamp, did more than bring necessary supplies to students; it inspired those in attendance to believe in themselves and in their dreams.
“These kids are special,” said the Bucks forward.
Beauchamp humbly collects cards and other artwork from local students. – Credit: Emma Widmar
More than basketball
Alayah Verikas, second grade student, holds up a Milwaukee Buck’s logo and the mascot, Bango, on two sheets of paper that she colored. – Credit: Emma Widmar
Today was about more than just basketball. It was about hearing MarJon’s message.
The young athlete, who was excited to visit the school, related to RUSD students, having also grown up with various barriers.
Beauchamp’s claim to fame didn’t come easy; it was a journey with uphill battles he had to fight against.
Javi Vinson with his basketball signed by MarJon Beauchamp. – Credit: Emma Widmar
Homelessness, being of indigenous descent, moving, school changes, and even the COVID-19 pandemic posed difficulties.
Nevertheless, the 6′ 7″ basketball star paved a way for himself. In an attempt to equip students with the resources they need to succeed, he also shared his charming and sincere character with those in attendance at the school supply drive.
Instilling belief in students in need
Students were receptive to his message, which encouraged students to never give up on their dreams.
MarJon Beauchamp holds a basketball with one hand alongside Ruben Crespo. – Credit: Emma Widmar
Among the crowd of children was third grader Rueben Crespo who brought his basketball to the event.
MarJon Beauchamp with Ruben Crespo after autographing his basketball. – Credit: Emma Widmar
Beauchamp added his signature to the ball during the assembly, making Crespo’s day brighter.
“I felt nervous because I never got an autograph by a basketball player,” said Crespo.
Crespo left the school presentation with confidence and motivation to follow his dreams on the inside, and an autograph and a larger-than-life smile on the outside.
“He inspires a lot of kids to follow their dreams,” said the 9-year-old. “My dream is to go to the NBA.”
Not only did the event make the students’ day, but it gave MarJon an overwhelming sense of joy.
“I’m just glad I can come out here and change their lives,” expressed the rookie player with gratitude.
One of a kind jersey
The Bucks forward was blown away when he saw a student wearing his jersey. It wasn’t a piece of merchandise that you find at the store, it was a homemade, and one-of-a-kind Beauchamp jersey.
Beauchamp stands beside Marley Darge, who is wearing a homemade jersey that her mother made for the special school event. – Credit: Emma Widmar
Marley Darge, a first-grade student, says that her mom made the jersey for her and it was a surprise she woke up to.
On the front, in green and white lettering, painted on the shirt was #0 and “Bucks” and on the back, the t-shirt sported Beauchamp and #0 again.
Beauchamp points to the back of Marley Darge’s homemade jersey. – Credit: Emma Widmar
That number holds great significance. In an article, it states the athlete chose #0 because he “came from zero… came from nothing.”
Whether Darge knew it or not, their interaction was something memorable.
“It was awesome,” said Darge about meeting the basketball star.
When Beauchamp took a picture with Darge and noticed her jersey, he was blown away.
“It was amazing,” said the athlete. “I kind of want to gift her a jersey of mine to show her that appreciation.”
#0 for the Milwaukee Bucks is making a difference on the court and in the lives of local area children by using philanthropy to create change.
“Just know that there’s a bigger world out there and they can do whatever they want to do,” said Beauchamp. “Not just basketball, but just in life. When times get hard, just keep going, hard times don’t last forever. Keep trusting.”
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