DAVID C. BANKS

President and CEO of The Eagle Academy Foundation

David is responsible for the successful leadership and management of the Eagle Academy Foundation. By empowering at-risk inner-city young men to become academic achievers and engaged citizens, the Eagle Academy Foundation and its network of public schools have become a national model of academic excellence and social success for urban young men. In 2010, Eagle Academy’s high school graduation rate of 87% more than doubled New York City’s rate of 43% for Black and Latino male students. Ninety-five percent of Eagle Academy’s students go on to college. Prior to becoming President and CEO of the Eagle Academy Foundation, David was the founding principal of the first Eagle Academy in the Bronx, NY.

 

PASTOR CALVIN DUNCAN

Pastor of Faith and Family Church, Richmond, Va.

Before becoming the pastor of one of Virginia’s most vibrant churches, Calvin was a standout basketball player at Oak Hill Academy and Virginia Commonwealth University, where his No. 5 jersey is retired. An All-American at both schools, he went on to become a 1985 draft pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Traded along with Charles Oakley to the Chicago Bulls, Duncan turned down a multi-year contract offer from the Bulls to play for Athletes in Action, an evangelical Christian traveling team. Duncan never returned to the NBA but coached at both the college and professional levels. Happily married for more than two decades, Calvin is the proud father of three children.

 

DR. CARL ELLIS JR.

Author, Minister, Professor; President of Project Joseph

Dr. Ellis is the President of Project Joseph, a ministry devoted to equipping Christians to minister to Muslims. He is also the Dean of Intercultural Studies at Westminster Theological Seminary. A pioneer thinker in the area of urban ministry and the development of African-American men, Dr. Ellis holds a B.A. from Hampton University, a M.A. from Westminster Theological Seminary, and a D.Phil. from Oxford Graduate School. Carl is a sought-after speaker on the subjects of Islam and Racial Reconciliation. He has pastored in Tennessee, taught seminars for prison ministries and theological studies and authored several books, including “Free at Last? The Gospel in the African-American Experience.”

 

DR. JOEL FREEMAN

Entrepreneur, Historian; author of “Return to Glory: The Powerful Stirring of the Black Man’’

Dr. Freeman has a passion for dynamic, fun-filled excellence and his wide range of accomplishments and experiences testifies to that fact. He served as chaplain for the NBA’s Washington Bullets/Wizards for 19 years (’79-’98). He has traveled to more than 50 countries, become a Rosetta Stone history expert, had his Black history collection featured at the United Nations, created award-winning films, published a magazine and authored several books endorsed by such notables as Bill Cosby, Julius Erving, Steve Forbes, Ken Blanchard, Joe Frazier, Ben Carson and many others. He’s also a devoted husband and father.

 
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ALLAN HOUSTON

Former NBA All-Star for the New York Knicks; Current Knicks Assistant General Manager

Allan is one of the greatest shooters the NBA has seen in the past 20 years. A two-time All-Star for the Knicks, he averaged 17.3 points over his 12-year career, including a career-best 22.5 points in the 2002-2003 season. He scored a career-high 53 points against the legendary Lakers team that included Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, and also won an Olympic gold medal as a member of Team USA in 2000. But Allan, a graduate from the University of Tennessee with a degree in African-American Studies, has always been much more than a basketball player. One of his proudest achievements is the creation of his Legacy Foundation, which has taught thousands of participants nationwide an original curriculum promoting fatherhood, entrepreneurship and spiritual growth. In addition to working for the Knicks, Allan stays busy by raising his seven children.

 

DWIGHT HOWARD SR.

Former Georgia state trooper; father of NBA superstar Dwight Howard

Dwight is a retired Georgia State trooper and the father of NBA superstar Dwight Howard. Along with his wife Sheryl, he runs the Dwight and Sheryl Howard Foundation. Established in 2004, the foundation seeks to provide a culture of empowerment for youth and families that will enable them to realize their purpose in life and become change agents in the world.

 

MICHAEL REDD

Olympic Gold Medal Winner; Former NBA All-Star with the Milwaukee Bucks

Mike is one of basketball’s true success stories. Seemingly always overlooked, he surprised many by becoming a star at Ohio State University. Still underrated, he was bypassed in the first round of the 2000 NBA draft and was not selected until Milwaukee took him with the 43rd pick. Through hard work and determination, Mike went on to become one of the top shooters of his era, averaging 19 points over his 12-year career. A one-time All-Star who averaged 26.7 points in the 2006-2007 season, he won an Olympic gold medal with Team USA in 2008. Mike grew up the son of a pastor and after signing a $90 million contract with the Bucks in 2005, he bought his dad a new church building in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

 

MICHAEL SMITH

ESPN Commentator, host of “His & Hers”

Michael is one of the brightest young personalities in the field of sports broadcasting. Hip, suave and insightful, he has distinguished himself among the talented crowd of commentators at ESPN, The Worldwide Leader in Sports. In addition to his hosting duties on the daily show “His & Hers,” Michael occasionally makes appearances as a panelist on “Around the Horn” and “Sports Reporters.”

A native of New Orleans, Michael began his journalism career at the New Orleans Times-Picayune while still a student at Loyola University, serving as a sports reporter and copy editor before graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication in 2001. Michael spent three years working at one of the nation’s top newspapers, The Boston Globe, where he covered the New England Patriots in their march to Super Bowl victories in 2002 and 2004. He then joined ESPN as an NFL reporter for the network and ESPN.com. Soon, he was making regular appearances on SportsCenter, NFL Live and First Take as an NFL Insider. Michael has also worked as a correspondent on E:60, ESPN’s cutting-edge newsmagazine program.

 

REVEREND ALFONSO WYATT

Minister, Allen A.M.E. Church, Queens, NY; Vice President, Jericho Faith-Based Technical Assistance Project

Rev. Wyatt has worked with three generations of young people as an educator, counselor, program developer, administrator, mentor and advocate. The son of two Baptist preachers, he is an ordained minister on the staff of The Greater Allen Cathedral of New York, where the Reverend Dr. Floyd Flake is pastor. He attended Howard University, Columbia Teacher’s College, The Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy, Columbia’s Institute for Not-for Profit Management, and New York Theological Seminary. He has served as an advisor for government programs, foundations, religious institutions, universities, youth organizations and non-profits around the country.