For most African American males in inner cities across America, the goal is to become a rapper or an NBA star. For many, those dreams never come true. Enter Devonte’ Young, a 27 year old entrepreneur from Capital Heights, MD. Devonte’ had basketball aspirations as a teenager, becoming widely popular during his high school basketball career.
After high school, Devonte’ encountered many setbacks and a few legal issues that pushed him to step outside of his comfort zone. He knew that he had to make a change to reach the level of success that he desired. He overcame his obstacles and pushed himself to complete college.
When he completed college he began developing an idea for basketball clinics to train young, aspiring athletes. With his interactions with NBA stars, he knew it was imperative to teach young athletes more than just the skill of basketball. He wanted his students to be prepared for life off the court. He started Beyond Basketball Training, an outreach program that uses basketball as a tool to reach youths.
“Outside of the basketball training, the kids talk to me when they have issues. I consider myself a mentor to them; all the kids can reach me and talk to me,” He said. “They see what I do outside of basketball and it motivates them to keep going and work hard.”
Devonte’ is now making waves with his new clothing line, Enspire Them. “The mission is to inspire others to become successful,” he explained. “I want to push young men towards starting businesses instead of robbing, stealing, and killing for money. I’m from an area where we don’t know anything about entrepreneurship so I’m going to be the first to show the youth what it’s really about by building a team, building a brand, and then becoming successful.”
Although he has found much success with his new apparel he admits that developing his startup was tough. “The toughest challenge I encountered was trying to do everything by myself. I have a team that I trust to build with,” he stated.
Devonte’s merchandise can be purchased on www.enspirethem.com where you can find hats and outerwear. He will continue his Beyond Basketball Training clinics in Surprise, Arizona, Oklahoma City, and the DC area this spring with other cities to be announced in the summer.