Giving back has always been one of the strengths of the Golden Isles. Whether it’s supporting a local charity drive or just helping out a family in need, Isles residents have always been there for each other. So it’s not a surprise when we see one of our favorite sons give back while in town.
On Monday, former Brunswick High standout and current Detroit Lions defensive back Tracy Walker did just that, reading to a group of students and posing for pictures at a preschool class at Head Start. Before he was a star on the football field, Walker himself attended Head Start and benefitted from the program’s offerings.
“I think it’s a blessing to be able to come here and be able to interact with the young kids, and basically seeing where I came from when I was small like that and now seeing where I am,” Walker said.
Walker is just the latest in a line of Isles athletes that have been role models both on and off the floor. His local counterparts in the NFL, fellow Lions defensive back Darius Slay and Seattle defensive back Justin Coleman, have also put work in around the community.
Slay, who graduated from Brunswick High, has been heavily involved with Coastal Outreach Soccer, hosting a camp with the organization this past summer. Slay also held the Big Play Slay Easter Weekend Community Celebration last March as a free event that brought out 400 to 500 people to Selden Park. Coleman, also a BHS graduate, has hosted a shopping spree for area players.
Isles athletes have given back to the community in a variety of ways. Former Glynn Academy standout and current St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright donated 10 acres of land and helped offset some expenses to help his alma mater build a new athletic complex.
No local athlete has put the Isles on the map more than Davis Love III. The Davis Love Foundation has given millions away to local charities. His foundation, along with sponsor RSM, helped bring the Isles a PGA Tour event that not only helps raise money for charity, but also provides an economic boon for the area every November.
With all the stories out there about athletes behaving badly, we remain proud of the athletes that call the Golden Isles home. They’re not just great athletes, they’re also great people.