The following originally appeared in the Huffington Post.
“Three pictures line the walls of my office. The news of Muhammad Ali’s death has me looking at them in a new light.
The first picture shows my childhood hero, Muhammad Ali, my son Corbin and me, taken nearly a decade ago when we launched Athletes for Hope—a nonprofit organization I run that educates professional, Olympic and college athletes about the importance of community service and connects them to causes about which they are passionate.
After growing up boxing and listening to Muhammad’s fights on a transistor radio, I first had the opportunity to meet The Champ at Andre Agassi’s school in 2004. A few years later, I asked him to take on the role of Founding Athlete of Athletes for Hope, joining a small group including Andre, Mia Hamm and Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Muhammad and his wife Lonnie told me they were too busy for new responsibilities, but that this cause was too important not to support…”