NBA veteran DeMarre Carroll and The Carroll Family Foundation made a powerful statement this past July when they hosted their first all-girls basketball clinic in New York City. Committed to supporting underserved youth, Carroll and his foundation put on the clinic in an effort to minimize opportunity gaps for young girls and female athletes.
With the best and most conveniently located gymnasiums often dominated by boys teams and tournaments, it’s not surprising that girls experience much higher drop-off rates in basketball and other organized team sports. Cognizant of this trend, Carroll and his foundation were thrilled to provide over 100 girls aged 7-18 with high quality instruction at the state-of-the-art Basketball City facility in Lower Manhattan.
In addition to drills led by Carroll and expert coaches, Carroll shared wisdom about life off the court while 12 year old DJ phenoms Amira and Kayla provided musical entertainment. The event also featured words of encouragement from guest speakers Sarah Kustok, NBA analyst and Brooklyn Nets sideline reporter, and Taylor Rooks, anchor and reporter for SportsNet New York and host of podcast “TimeOut with Taylor Rooks.” Both distinguished sports reporters, Kustok and Rooks continue to blaze a trail for women in sports.
Supporting underserved youth is only half the story for Carroll and his foundation though. Founded in 2017, The Carroll Family Foundation is particularly dedicated to raising awareness and funds for underserved youth suffering from pediatric liver disease and disorders — a cause extremely personal to Carroll.
At 21 years old, just weeks before he was selected by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2009 NBA Draft, Carroll learned he had liver disease. Instead of cowering to his fear, he faced his condition head on. He educated himself. He changed his diet. He adjusted his physical training, and he got regular check ups. Carroll learned that he could still live a long, fulfilling life despite his diagnosis. And he wants others to do the same.
Nicknamed the “Junkyard Dog” during his years at the University of Missouri, Carroll has proven his toughness as a competitor both on the floor and in the game of life. Through The Carroll Family Foundation, he has led several initiatives this past year to help raise awareness for liver disease and disorders, such as his Dog Pound Program where underserved youth are treated to a Brooklyn Nets home game while helping to spread awareness about the disease to the public.
Last winter, Carroll also organized several holiday charity events including a dinner for at-risk youth transitioning out of foster care, a sock drive for the Salvation Army which collected over 1,000 pairs of socks donated by Nets fans and staff, and a pre-Valentine’s Day Nets game and meet-and-greet with DeMarre for single moms and their children.
A believer in the saying “hard work is a talent,” Carroll is an inspiration not just for youth but for all people. Despite countless obstacles, Carroll is now heading into his 10th NBA season. With the motto “We Believe,” The Carroll Family Foundation is a testament to the power of transferring the pain of hardships into hope for others who need it most.