By Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson
Mentoring, law enforcement and public safety are at the forefront of the community. Making sure that mind, body, soul and healthy engagement is at the forefront in a system that often be fractured is also certainly the goal and what was discussed earlier this week at the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives Law & Legends Breakfast of Champions at the Harvard Club of New York City.
Now in its 40th year of existence, NOBLE has served as the conscience of law enforcement by being committed to justice by action and represents over 3,000 members internationally, who are primarily African-American CEO’s of law enforcement agencies on the the federal, state county and municipal levels.
On July 16, NOBLE will celebrate their big 40 by housing their Celebrity Golf Tournament scheduled for next month at Andrews Air Force Base Golf Course in Washington DC. NBA Legends Otis Birdsong and Nate “Tiny” Archibald were on hand to help help kick off the fundraiser. Proceeds from the golf tournament will benefit the NOBLE National Scholarship Program and The Law & Your Community educational program.
Four time NBA All Star Otis Birdsong was the keynote speaker for the breakfast. Birdsong, the 2nd pick in the 1977 NBA Draft by the Kansas City Kings played 12 years in the league and talked about his career as well as his upbringing in Winter Haven, Florida. “The law enforcement agency get a bad rap,” said Birdsong. “I think it’s important that we educate the community, especially our youth about the importance of law enforcement and the services and help that they provide.”
A former Net from 1981-1988 Birdsong has been keeping in tune to the happenings of his former team and knows that there is a road ahead to rebuild the team. “Well they’re struggling,” he said. “Unfortunately, I think they are going to have to revamp the entire roster, maybe. They just need to make a lot of wholesale changes. They got a new coach, we’ll see how that works out. They need a stud, you gotta have a stud; a guy that’s going to get you 20-25 every night and they haven’t had that in a few years.”
Nate “Tiny” Archibald, an NBA champion, 14 year NBA vet and Bronx, NY legend who once led the NBA in both scoring and assists in the same season knows a lot about mentoring. Archibald became a school teacher in the New York City school system after his playing career and earned a postgraduate degree from Fordham University. He’s big on community and the belief in each one teach one, because it was done for him.
“I grew up born and raised in New York and we always had mentors,” Archibald told me. “Males, females and I think what happened is, the torch was always lit and they are passing it on to others and I just felt that it wasn’t just up to me but up to others. Basketball is a small piece to this puzzle. We can reach people, I do clinics, I do camps for free. I do mentorships, I go to school and talk to them about being a student athlete. I was fortunate enough that I got to play on a professional level and before that growing up in the projects in the South Bronx, I didn’t have a plan and most kids don’t have a plan. But being part of a community center which a lot of a community center helped me stay the course.”
Archibald also talked a little hoops. He’s a fan of some little guy that starts at point guard for the Golden State Warriors named Steph Curry. You may have heard of him? “He ain’t a big guys,” said Archibald. He’s like what? 6’1 or 6’2? I talk about size because not a lot of guys are going to be like LeBron. I mean, LeBron is like a phenom; big strong and can do a lot of things. But when people become prey to size, they look at Steph and he’s not that big. He’s like 6’1 or 6’2 and 165 pounds, he ain’t a big guy. So it’s not about physical. It’s about finesse, working on your game.”
NOBLE President Gregory A. Thomas moderated the breakfast and was pleased. “We’ve yet to have NOBLE in the sports arenas,” he said. “So to have a breakfast to celebrate the 40th anniversary, in Washington DC in July and celebrating the youth as well was critical.”
NOBLE has been recognized by the Department of Justice for its work with youth in the community. Visit NobleNatl.org to learn more about the organization.
Brandon Robinson is a sports and entertainment writer and TV personality. You can catch him daily on CBS Radio’s Play.it Brown And Scoop Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @SCOOPB and visit http://www.ScoopB.com.