Often former high school players talk about "giving back" to a community, yet seldom do those same ideas ever seem to become reality.
Yet for former Morgan Park and Illinois wide receiver Chris James, "talk" and "action" have always seemed to go hand in hand.
James, (who was a four-star ranked receiver in the Class of 2007) along with support from several former CPL standout players will launch the first ever Chicago Public League Football Showcase event, set for May 10th and 11th as part of his HeroH Foundation. Besides the usual football skills on display, James and HeroH will make sure that all involved will learn more than just how well they compete on the football field.
"We will have a two day event with day one focusing on character development." James said. "We plan to cover everything from the importance of academics to the importance of the clearinghouse. Kids and parents just don't seem to be getting all of the information they need and we want to present it to the kids and the parents because they need that information now more than ever. Also day one is mandatory for everyone that wants to participate in day two on the football field."
James created the HeroH Foundation, a not for profit group that is attempting to truly give back to a community that has given support and guidance for James and many others from the Chicago Public League football ranks. James, who is also seeking additional sponsors for this first ever event will charge a paulty $5 for this two day event.
"I really didn't want to charge anything and it's never been about the money for me,” he said. “We've been able to fine a few ways of getting donations for shirts and a lot of people in the CPL have stepped up to help us. We are charging the $5 so we can give those who are volunteering a little something for their time."
Stepping forward so far has been an impressive list of former standout CPL players who will also serve as camp instructions and mentors including former King and current Kansas City Chiefs Jeff Allen plus former Simeon/Northwestern standouts DL Corbin Bryant (Buffalo Bills) and Illinois/Dallas Cowboys DE Martez Wilson. James counts over a dozen volunteers who have major D1 college and/or NFL experience who will all be involved in this event.
"We all talked about giving back when we played in high school,” he said. “Now that we are out of school and getting on with our lives it's the right time to help out. I'm hoping this will be the first year of many more years to come."