Posted September 4, 2012 by DJ Enuff in Sports

Stat and Styles P Address The Fatherless Crisis in Harlem

According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau report, more than 25 million children now live apart from their biological fathers. That’s a 15.3 percent increase (eight to 23.3 percent) from 1960 to 2006. But communities such as Harlem face the biggest challenges. Nearly two in three (65 percent) of African-American children live in fatherless homes, and 80 percent of those children can expect to live at least a part of their childhood living apart from their fathers. – espn

Styles P in the building! NY Knicks’ Amare Stoudemire AKA Stat and former Knick Allan Houston headlined a ‘Fatherless Crisis’ seminar at the First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem on Friday! The headliners along with rapper Styles P, Chris Broussard, actor Chaz Lamar Shepherd and NBA player Etan Thomas are all fatherhood activists through their individual projects. Spoken word artist J. Ivy, Julian Thomas and Messiah Ramkissoon read poems relating to this often overlooked topic as well. The audience of 500 people were moved and truely impressed with the presentations and poetry! Check out what Stat and Houston said below and the complete panelist pic directly below!

(l. to r.): J. Ivy, Allan Houston, Chaz Lamar Shepherd, Etan Thomas, Michael A. Walrond Jr., Amare Stoudemire, Messiah Ramkissoon, Julian Thomas, Styles P and Chris Broussard.

“Create that kingdom,” Stoudemire said. “There needs to be a lion and lioness. Make sure you find the right queen — and stay with her.”

“We have to be kings of the world, leaders, so we can build kings of the world,” he said. “What they see on TV is that we got the big money, the big cars, the beautiful homes. But we’ve got to figure out ways to be positive influences to the youth because they follow us. Whatever we do, they want to do. We have to tell them to stay in school and keep their heads up. I was a history buff growing up. It seems like it’s not cool to be smart, but it is.”

“Right now we’re still in the hood, and (we as pro athletes) have the resources to build a nation within a nation,” said Stoudemire, who was honored as a “Father of the Year” in 2011 by the National Father’s Day Council. “It’s not that long ago when we came out of slavery, and it seems like we are programmed not to succeed. We need to find ways to heal our people. We need to create a better image for young people. We need to patch up their souls.

“We do have influence; we have a black president. But we need to stand together more. Celebrities and athletes generate billions of dollars, and we need to find a way to come together and rise to the occasion. We need to take advantage of our opportunities.” – espn

Stat recently released a children’s book called STAT: Home Court(pic above) which delves directly into a similar real-life situation as his own. Stat lost his father, Hazell, at 12 years old and turned to Biggie and 2Pac as his inspiration. He chose ball over the streets, but see’s how many kids can easily take the wrong path; especially without their father to guide them. Stat has three kids of his own, and strongly believes in the cause. He feels that black people with power (or wealth) need to make a difference individually and through the aid of different groups. Check it out above!

“When I got to the NBA and I saw that a lot of the guys didn’t have the experience that I had, it was different for me,” said Houston, who’s currently the Knicks’ assistant GM. “But what I went through with my father should be the standard. He set the example for me about how to be a great father. We can’t do that unless we have great connections to our kids.”

“Regarding social and public policy, we are all in a fight,” he said. “We need to take up skills and engage kids, and listen to kids. When we walk out of this church tonight, we have to continue this conversation about fatherhood.” – espn

Former longtime Knick and current Knicks’ Assistant General Manager Allan Houston (celebrating his 16th wedding anniversary) is a father of seven children, and grew up under a close, loving and caring father Wade during his childhood. Positively, he affirms the need for love from the father in the household, and talks about how the father must establish “great connections” with their kids. Houston heads his own fatherhood organization called “Father Knows Best”.

In other NBA news, four OKC players along with Brooklyn Nets’ C.J. Watson and other NBA players are in South Africa on the Basketball Without Borders camp!