What was your favorite non-football memory of your time in Indianapolis?
My favorite non-football memories of my time in Indianapolis is how welcoming the community was to me when I first got there as a 21-year-old from Oakland, California. From neighbors teaching me that I had to shovel my driveway after a heavy snow, to having neighbors make meals for me during the holidays, to learning how to have an impact on your community through organization collaboration, to having community leaders support my wife’s and my vision of DREAM Alive. All of these memories characterize the substance and character of the Indianapolis community, and it was consistent throughout my 17 years.
Where was your favorite, non-fancy place to eat?
My place to eat was Daruma. It was a Japanese restaurant off 86th Street that introduced me to sushi. It’s closed now but I am forever grateful for Daruma.
How many kids do you have?
I have four children: 2 boys and 2 girls. Tarik (Isaiah) is 16, Leila is 13, Nia is 12, and Elisha is 10.
What’s the most rewarding part of raising kids?
The most rewarding part of raising kids is seeing them develop into their potential. At a young age you get glimpses of what they can be, and as they grow and develop, you see them living into that person.
I’m not there yet. What’s the most frustrating part of raising kids?
The most frustrating part of raising kids is them thinking that you don’t understand what it’s like being a kid. Like my momma use to tell me when I was a kid, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
Do you coach your kids in sports?
I don’t because I would demand too much. I enjoy being a fan and cheering my kids on.
You’re wise—I should do that too. While we’re here, 5-year-olds should not play organized basketball, right?
Mine didn’t. My goal is not to raise the next LeBron, although I am not discouraging that either.
Your foundation is DREAM Alive, what is it?
My wife and I started DREAM Alive in 2002. We originally wanted to start a community center in the inner city of Indianapolis. We realized there was more of a need for mentoring middle school youth in this same demographic and turning them into leaders. The organization evolved from there.
What are you most proud of with regard to DREAM Alive?
I am most proud of the growth of the organization following my day-to-day involvement. The sign of the community embracing the organization outside of my celebrity was seeing how the community increased its support even after I stepped down from running the day-to-day operations.
How did the “Wishing on Stars” fundraising dinner come to be a reality?
Wishing on the Stars is a cool partnership with DREAM Alive and BRANDed management. BRANDed comes alongside of local non-profits and offers a dynamic philanthropic fundraising experience to local supporters. We have been fortunate to raise a lot of money and awareness for DREAM Alive’s cause through our event at a place like Ruth’s Chris with partners like EFFEN Vodka & Maker’s Mark helping our efforts.
Where do the proceeds from the dinner go?
The proceeds from the dinner goes directly to DREAM Alive programming. We meet with roughly 400 students in a given year and do consistent programing with almost 200 students. So any support can help sustain our current efforts and allow us to reach more students.
What’s your favorite part of the Wishing on Stars night?
Seeing the community engage with Colts players is my favorite part of the evening. I’ve been an adopted Hoosier for almost 20 years, and the same people are at the events year after year and they’re just as excited every time they come.
Why should Indy Monthly readers go?
Indy Monthly readers should go because this is the 10-year reunion for the Super Bowl 41 team (2006) and some of my teammates will be in the house supporting DREAM Alive. You’ll have to be there to see who.