Damion Baltrip

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    My experience at EOYDC has been a journey from a boy to a man, learning right from wrong on the street and turning right toward the Center for my solution.

    I moved to 82nd Avenue back in 1989 and the street was filled with drug dealers, it was either sell crack or cut hair. One day I got off the block and tried to make a change in my community by going to EOYDC and ever since then, throughout my childhood, I have been a part of the Center. The EOYDC is where I learned to play basketball and how to make things out of clay.

    I’ve been at EOYDC since the colors were blue and white. I used to play for the Center in 1990. I was a legend at the Center for making a shot from half court. I was there when Chris Webber played for the Golden State Warriors and he shot two jump shots from our bleachers and made it, believe it or not. This was before we had glass backboards.

    Going to EOYDC is like going to church! Everybody has an open and positive mind. It is trouble free and I go to relax and volunteer with all the young kids, teaching them right from wrong. I also try to show them how to have a positive attitude with each other. The center taught me how to have a professional attitude in life. I have never gotten kicked out of the Center for anything. I was always a help!

    Role models? I know mine are Jimi Evins and Vincent Moore. They were my favorite people to see at the center. Jimi was supposed to be working, but instead he would shoot free throws with me form time to time and help me with my homework.

    EOYDC is my home away from home. When I first came to the center, I was eleven years old and I was playing for the EOYDC Running Rebels. I was one of the first to play for the Center. I’ve been around for 15 years. Now I am 26 years of age, still standing, still making right choices in life. That’s why I choose to continue to go to the EOYDC and visit. There is so much to do there. Now that I have kids I bring them to Art and Karate class. I am a barber and I have my own shop at 8700 International Blvd.

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