Shannon Brown is chill.
After being honored and awarded as one of the ‘Top 40 under 40 Game Changers” presented by WVON, The Talk of Chicago!along with Ariel Investments on August 2nd at the BlackStone Hotel, his 6’4 stature navigated through the crowd of Chicago influencers and fellow game changers smiling, shaking hands, participating in photo-ops and chatting with anyone able to gain a bit of his time.
The award given was not just for his fame as a talented NBA shooting guard, who recently re-signed with the Phoenix Suns, but for his progressive dedication and achievements in giving back to the community as well.
Yes, after the clock runs out, the bleachers clear and the uniform is exchanged for a tailored suit or stylish jeans and nice shirt, Shannon’s philanthropic contributions after the game are just as major.
The development of the Shannon Brown Foundation is dedicated to giving back to the community by offering support, financial resources and scholarships to underprivileged kids. The extent of the foundation promotes positive progression, safety and the overall well-being of children and their families through programs that encourage social and educational development.
Growing up in Maywood, IL, he can relate to the challenges that kids face on a daily basis. “I know it’s not easy to stay on the right path when all you see is negative,” he says. “My inspiration is just being able to pull somebody out of a situation that they’re not happy in or giving them a scholarship or a tool where they can make their future as bright as possible.”
For the second year, Shannon and his camp, inclusive of his R&B songstress wife, Monica are bringing a weekend of education,basketball and music to Chicago with the Wood-Star Music Festival to be held at Union Park in the West Loop, August 17-19th.
“It’s just basically giving back to the kids,” he tells N’DIGO. “Two of the most important things in my life are basketball and music so we decided to bring those two things together and bring some positive stuff to the city to provide things for the kids, where they can be successful in their lives as far as our scholarships and computers and stuff like that … give them that extra push that they need to make something great out of their lives.”
The weekend festivities include an invite-only dinner and celebration on Friday. Saturday, attendees will be treated to a celebrity basketball game, a basketball clinic, and concerts that range from soothing soul and R&B to old-school hip hop.
“You’ll get to see some artists that you probably never seen before or around the city. We have a basketball clinic for the kids at Fosco Park where we’ll teach a little bit about basketball, life, health, physical health and give the kids around the city a chance to have a good time, a celebrity basketball game and we’re going to have a lot of great prizes and giveaways.”
The combination of sports and music, is one that he expresses saved his life early on. “Basketball is one of the things that saved my life and music is one of the things that saved my life, that’s why I decided to bring those things together and you know, bring something positive to the city.”
The Shannon Brown Foundation will begin offering its free basketball camp again next year with hopes to making it an annual event along with the Wood-Star Music Festival.
As for what else is in store from the foundation, he hints, “All positive things coming from the foundation, helping kids out as much as possible because they are our future and definitely need to be led the right way.”
For more information on the WoodStar Music Festival:www.woodstarmusicfestival.com
Performers: Monica, Estelle, Fantasia, Robin Thicke, Dawn Richard, Sway, Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, Naughty By Nature, Mc Lyte…
Soul in the City Concert
8/18 – $55
Concerts – 2 Day pass $100
Lawn seating. You may bring lawn chairs and blankets.
Celebrity Basketball Game
8/19 – $20 Adults, $10 Kids 12 & under.
Buy your tickets NOW on www.ticketweb.com
Support the cause!