"Every family has a story to tell. Welcome to mine...”
"You've never really lived until you do something for someone else who can never repay you.”
Lamar Winston was born January 6th, 1980 at Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon, the fifth of eight children. He had four brothers (Stanley Junior, Joseph, Marice and Samuel) and three sisters (Taletha, Elana and Selena). They were all raised in Columbia Villa in North Portland.
The Winston family’s lives changed on August 17th, 1988, when Joseph Ray Ray Winston was gunned down and killed in a drive-by shooting. Lamar was seven years old. He didn’t understand death, but he learned quickly that his life was going to change drastically. His brother was dead, his dad was in jail for seven years and his mom was on drugs. Lamar managed to stay focused, although it was tough. Going into high school at Jefferson High School in North Portland, he had to learn to feed not just himself but his brothers and sisters as well. He started hustling to make money and had his first son at just 17 years old. His father passed away when he was in the 11th grade. Then, his oldest brother was killed when Lamar was a senior.
With the help of Self Enhancement Inc., Lamar managed to graduate high school and get into Mt. Hood Community College. He now works with Gang Impacted Youth at Portland OIC and volunteers at Self Enhancement. He runs his own program for at-risk minorities ages 9-23. He helps to better serve them, mentoring and educating them on gangs, education and how to be a student athlete. Lamar has five sons and one daughter who he has parented all their lives. His oldest attends The University of Oregon on a five-year football scholarship. His second oldest is a senior at Central Catholic High School with a 3.4 GPA and is attending the University of Southern California on a five-year football scholarship. His 13-year old son goes to Boise Eliot School with a GPA of 3.0, while his daughter goes to De La Salle North Catholic High School with a 3.5 GPA. She is attending Clark-Atlanta.
Lamar is sharing his background to let others know why Inner City Basketball was formed. He strives to help kids who are at risk of being involved with gangs or who are directly impacted by gangs and gang violence. He hopes to improve graduation rates, reduce crime via gang violence and increase minority youth college graduation rates. He works to make the student athletes he coaches and mentors better people in the community.
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