Nakia Sanford, Washington Mystics
Washington Mystics forward-center Nakia Sanford is not only a great contributor to the city of Washington on the basketball court, averaging 7 points and 6 rebounds per game for the Mystics this season, but she is also a great contributor to the community of Washington D.C. and her native Georgia as well.
Sanford grew up in Georgia and played her college basketball at the University of Kansas. After signing with Washington in 2003, Nakia has averaged of 4.5 points and 3.4 rebounds throughout her career. Nakia owes her success to the support of her family and believes that "if you know better, then you'll be able to do better.
All business on the court, Sanford's good deeds off the court are not going unnoticed
Mitchell Layton /NBAE/Getty Images
Because Nakia believes "a lot of times, we don't have much guidance for our youth," she started a mentoring program called the Betty Anne Robertson Foundation in June of 2005. Named after her late grandmother, the Foundation focuses on the "ninth grade growth point into high schoolers, and is mainly a mentorship program right now."
The Betty Anne Robertson Foundation kicked off their first program last summer with a big sister mentoring program in August. Because of people's busy schedules, including Nakia's during the WNBA season, the program allows the young adults to email their mentor and also go out to dinner with their mentor.
Helping the community is Nakia's passion and she plans to continue to run the Foundation after she retires.
"I started my foundation so this will be able to be my job when I finish playing basketball because I want to stay involved in the community and stay involved with children," Nakia said. "that's what my passion is, so that's what I'll be doing."
with Nakia, you can help. There is a web site called thebarfoundation.org that
she encourages fans to go check out if they would like to become a mentor in the
D.C. or Georgia areas. There are applications available for download. Fans may
also make a donation as the group is growing and continues to look for mentors.
Sanford hopes to find additional volunteers and supporters to help get the message
out there, especially to underprivileged youth, that there are people out there
who care and want to do something for the children in the community.