Fans know Nick Young as a goofy, care-free jokester, but his journey to the Wizards was marked by some pretty real pain.
When Nick was 5 years old, his older brother, Charles Jr., was killed in a drive-by shooting by a local gang member. Another brother, John, suffered a mental breakdown after the murder.
“My brother [John] has been in a mental institution for over 10 years, so in a way my family lost two sons.” he told us. “For years my family was devastated.”
Nick started the Nick Young Foundation with hopes of putting an end to gang violence and offering free psychiatric services to those who have been affected by it. Most recently, he held a back to school drive in his hometown of West L.A., with gifts, prizes, school supplies and food -- all of which were purchased by Nick himself.
It wasn’t so much a fundraiser as it was a day of giving back, good times and a chance for neighborhood families to get together. It was the first event for the foundation, but Nick is already planning more, including a free basketball camp for less-fortunate children.
“I want to be a voice for my community and make a difference in the world,” Nick said.
Nick’s story has been told in variousmedia stories, as well as on the documentary Second Chance Season. His current efforts are being documented by Ford Productions, some of which will be shown on the web teasers for the Nick & JaVale Show.