HIGH POINT – Every good athletic program needs people behind the scenes to help in ways that may go unnoticed. For Brian Robinson, Bobby Grant was one of those people.
After Grant passed away recently, those close to Robinson’s basketball programs were looking for a way to honor his memory. So, Robinson decided to hold an alumni game and raise money for a scholarship in Grant’s name.
“We really have a lot of folks between the two programs who really think a lot of Bobby and of Trish, too,” said Robinson, who coaches girls basketball at Bishop McGuinness and runs the Winston-Salem Stealers AAU program. “So, a couple parents in the Stealers program asked if we could do something in Bobby’s name.
“Our program, from the time we started 25 years ago, has always tried to help out kids who can’t afford to play. Bobby was always a champion for that. He’d never want any recognition for that. If a kid needs some shoes, he’d find a way to get them – whatever he could do to help out. So, we decided the best way to keep his name in our program forever is to start a scholarship in his name.”
The alumni game will be Sunday, Dec. 20, from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Stealers’ new Maddawg Center in Kernersville. The aim is to have 14 players participate, and so far 11 have signed up – including a handful who played on Bishop’s teams during its record-setting run of nine straight state championships.
The ultimate goal is to raise about $3,000 this first year, and they’ve raised about half that in just three weeks – receiving donations from near and far. The scholarships (the aim is to have 10 for $300 apiece) will help players in the Stealers program who might otherwise not have the means to participate.
And that, Robinson said, goes straight to the heart of honoring Grant, a longtime High Point-area resident whose wife, Trish, has coached alongside Robinson in both programs for nearly two decades and whose daughter, Suzanne, played for Robinson’s first team at Bishop in 2002-03.
The event will also be an opportunity for many who have participated in the Stealers program – which will celebrate its 25th year in 2021 – to visit its new facility, which is now centrally located in Kernersville. In recent years, the program was centered at the Gateway YWCA in Winston-Salem.
But when a local church bought it and planned to build it into a sanctuary, the Stealers had to look elsewhere. So, in the spring they leased the old Dudley Cosmetology Campus Event Center and, with plenty of volunteer help, turned it into their new home, allowing the program to operate through the pandemic.
For more information on the Bobby Grant scholarship and inaugural alumni game, please visit the Stealers’ website at www.thewinstonsalemstealers.com.
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