By Rahul Lal
Arguably the nation’s hottest college basketball team right now, UCLA, boasts an alumni list that includes icons from every era of NBA basketball. Baron Davis ran the point guard position and revolutionized it during his time at UCLA and into the NBA. When I caught up with Davis, he was hosting an event with hip-hop legend, Fabolous. In our interview, Davis expressed how much he’s enjoying his alma mater’s success and his hopes for the program.
“I think it’s great,” he said pridefully. “We’ve got a great young team and some great guards. You can win when you have great guard play in the tournament and we just got to keep it up. I love what I’m seeing out there.”
UCLA is currently ranked number two in the country after taking down powerhouse college basketball programs Kentucky and Michigan in the span of a week. The Bruins boast a 10-0 record and are considered one of the deepest teams in the NCAA sporting six players who are all averaging double-digit points on the season.
“We just got to keep it up,” Davis preached. “Lonzo Ball is good, [Bryce] Alford is a senior, we got a whole squad, man. We’ll be number one in the country soon, for sure.”
Davis is leading the charge with the Black Santa Company by inspiring those who can make a difference to do just that by injecting some melanin into the Christmas spirit. Fabolous, founder of A Fabolous Way Foundation, partnered with Davis to create a toy drive that will serve to give over $30,000 worth of gifts to inner-city youth.
“Us athletes are always in the giving spirit and that’s reflected a lot,” he said while describing his partnership with Fabolous. “A lot of the time, rappers don’t always get credit for the work they do [in the communities]. They’re talked about for their lyrics and things like that but a lot of these dudes are in the neighborhood inspiring people and helping people and that’s what we want to do. We just want to serve the community, give back and support each other with all our causes and entrepreneurial efforts.”
The star studded event featured a host of well-known figures in both the sports and hip-hop communities. Davis was joined by Darrelle Revis (star cornerback for the New York Jets) and former teammate Al Harrington. Fabolous walked in with all three members of the Lox, including Jadakiss, Sheek Louch, and Styles P, and the event saw DJ Boof spinning records.
“There’s a lot of kids who don’t get as positive of a Christmas as others,” said Fabolous. “We wanted to make sure we could do our part by reaching out and using our celebrity to donate some toys and make sure the kids have a present this Christmas, man. They’ll always think back that somebody helped them and they’ll want to give back in the future as well.”
The Black Santa Company assumed the role of putting on the toy drive while A Fabolous Way Foundation will take the toys and distribute them around to the kids. Both founding members, Davis and Fabolous, were welcoming to any others who may want to get involved with the foundation as it serves such a beneficial purpose.
“As a whole, hip-hop tends to be the scapegoat for a lot of bad that happens,” Fabolous continued. “At the same time, we’re at the head of a lot of good things that happen. Just being from the hood, we really came from it and know what’s going on in it. I would like to put more focus on what we’re doing for the good parts of it with events like this. Not just toy drives but a lot of other things like our Turkey Drives on Thanksgiving or our Coat Drives in the winter.”
It’s always inspiring to see public figures using their celebrity to truly make a difference. Both the Back Santa Company and A Fabolous Way Foundation are doing lots to help the community one event and one person at a time. For more information on both foundation, you can visit the Black Santa Company’s website here and A Fabolous Way Foundation’s website here.
Rahul Lal is an LA native stuck in a lifelong, love-hate relationship with the Lakers, Dodgers and Raiders. You can follow him on Twitter here.