Former Los Angeles Laker Devean George is no longer worried about free throws and the hardwood, but is now focusing on giving back to the North Minneapolis community where he grew up.
George, whose career started with the Lakers but ended in 2010 with the Golden State Warriors, has teamed up with a former classmate, architect Jamil Ford, to build an affordable-housing building in his hometown.
The 47-unit building will be located on Penn Avenue and Golden Valley Road, and George hopes the building will be a positive change for an area known for crime and violence.
“Housing, I believe, is the foundation to doing whatever you want to do,” George said.
“If you don’t have stable housing, you’re not worried about education, you’re not worried about eating healthy, you’re not worried about anything else,” George said.
George is also making it easy for residents who’ll live in the building. Instead of having to travel miles to a grocery store, residents will be able to take advantage of a grocery co-op that George is also developing in the building.
“That’s what people look for when they go live in a neighborhood,” George said. “Where’s my grocery store? Where is my movie theater? Where can we go eat? Where can our kids go play at a park? And this was just a place where there is just housing.”
And this is just the beginning for George and Ford. After this initial building is finished, they plan to build another one.
“This is just the start,” George said. “This is just the catalyst of everything that’s going to go on.”
And this is exactly how you give back to the community in which you were raised.