Pictured (clockwise from left): Wade Davis, Kye Alums, and Fallon Fox
Last week a group of 40 self-identifying LGBTQ kids had a rare opportunity to improve both their game and leadership skills thanks to former NFL football player Wade Davis when he hosted a You Belong camp in Chicago.
"As a former professional athlete and a proud gay man, I have wanted to create a place for young athletes, no matter their sexual identity, to come together, play hard and focus on becoming better athletes and leaders," Davis said in a statement.
The camp featured NBA players Jason and Jarron Collins, Tangela Smith of the WNBA, and NBA champ Bill Cartwright. Also making appearances at the event were transgender female fighter Fallon Fox, transgender former college basketball player Kye Allums, retired NFL player and retired NFLPA of Chicago President Marques Sullivan, Co-Founder and President of You Can Play Patrick Burke, CNN and ESPN writer LZ Granderson, and Outsports co-founder Cyd Zeigler.
"Wade Davis got in touch with me and told me about the camp and its partnership with NBA cares, and it sounded like a great opportunity to work these kids and be a part of something special," former NBA center Jason Collins said. "We created a safe place for LGBTQ kids to play ball, become better leaders, and stand up for what is right on and of the court."
The You Belong Initiative will continue to host quarterly camps for LGBTQA youth and their allies around the country, "allowing some of sports' best to to engage youth of all genders and sexualities and encourage the development of well-rounded athletes, leaders, and human beings." The next camp is tentatively planned for late February or March in Newark, NJ, and will focus on football.
Check out a photo of Jason Collins, a You Belong camper, Wade Davis, and Jarron Collins below: