Spalding University student-athletes were treated to a quick basketball shoot-around and a pep talk from rapper and entrepreneur Percy Miller, aka Master P, on Friday afternoon at Columbia Gym.
Miller spoke to the Spalding athletes about the importance of education as well as the opportunities and relationships that can be created and strengthened through playing sports. An excellent basketball player, Miller went to the University of Houston on an athletic scholarship, later attended Merritt College in California. He briefly played in the NBA.
“Education is so important,” he told the Golden Eagles. “Without that, you’re going to make the wrong choices and decisions. … Keep chasing those dreams and those goals and know that education is going to take you a long way. … Everybody might not make it to the NBA or the WNBA, but you can use this as a tool to get you to different places and to see and build those dreams and goals.”
Miller used the trip to Spalding on Friday as an opportunity to meet with and console two local families who have recently lost teenagers to tragedies – 18-year-old Richard Harper and 13-year-old Ki’Athony Tyus.
The visit with the families and with the Spalding athletes was arranged by Louisville community activist and anti-violence advocate Christopher 2X, who works with Miller as a community and public relations ambassador for Miller’s professional Global Mixed Gender Basketball League. In February 2018, Columbia Gym became a site of that organization’s Balling for a Cause youth basketball and leadership camps, which promote peace and life skills.
“Once (Miller) started to learn more about Spalding’s mission regarding social justice and he’s learned more about how Spalding has become a beacon of light for members of the community, he said it would be good to meet those families there,” Christopher 2X said. “‘Let me give those words of encouragement at Spalding and the Columbia Gym.’”
Last June, Christopher 2X was awarded an honorary doctorate for public service from Spalding.