Nba Rising Stars And Childhood Friends, Dorell Wright And Russell Westbrook Award Kb3 Memorial Educational Scholarship In Partnership With UNCF

Top Quote School Year Commences With 10 Academic Leaders Named As Winners Of Heartfelt Fund To Memorialize The Legacy Of Promising Basketball Teammate, Khelcey Barrs III. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) September 28, 2013 - NEW YORK, NY- As students journey to their collegiate destinations and the academic year commences, the Portland Trailblazer's newest agile small-forward Dorell Wright and Oklahoma City Thunder's All-Star point-guard Russell Westbrook, have channeled their on-court drive and determination into the commitment of the D. Wright Way Foundation and The Needs Foundation to support the upward mobility of today's youth, partnering with UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the nation's largest and most impactful organization dedication to minority education to establish the KB3 Memorial Educational Fund. The scholarship, named for their childhood friend, the late Khelcey Barrs, III, was created to assist graduating high school seniors who face financial challenges that threaten their aspirations to pursue and attain a college education. Wright and Westbrook joined together to present $50,000 to the UNCF to fund the establishment of the KB3 Memorial Educational Fund and after the review of over one thousand spirited submissions, the following 10 deserving scholarly individuals have been chosen as recipients (in alphabetical order):

    1. Zigetta Tekle Ama Roda - (Public Policy) Cornell University in Los Angeles, CA
    2. Aimee Vera Wilkerson- (Political Science) Wesleyan University in Takoma Park, MD
    3. Christopher Josiah Westbury- (Science) Morehouse College in Lompoc, CA
    4. Cory Mckee- (Biology) University of Louisville in Hopkinsville, KY
    5. Daija Rene Smith - (Pre-Law) Loyola University, New Orleans in Avondale, LA
    6. Dorcus Chism Mbaeri- (Applied Mathematics) University of Houston Downtown in Houston, TX
    7. Gary Dewayne White JR- (Undecided) Prairie View University in Prairie View, TX
    8. Ralph Cole- (Computer Technology) NC A&T State University in Elizabeth City, NC
    9. Tigest Mequanint- (Biological Sciences) University of Oregon in Beaverton, OR
    10. Zaire Martin- (Undecided) Morehouse College in Camden, NJ

    "Many African Americans and students of color are not receiving the financial support to get the education they need, and that we need them to have," said Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. "Through the KB3 Memorial Educational Fund, The D Wright Way Foundation, The Needs Foundation and UNCF create meaningful change for inner-city youth, inspiring a college-going culture that will have an impact for these students and their communities for generations to come."

    One of the most promising members of their Los Angeles varsity high school basketball team and a cherished companion of Wright and Westbrook, Khelcey Barrs was poised to join the ranks of the leading players in collegiate athletics and the NBA when he suddenly collapsed and died during a pickup game due to complications from an enlarged heart in May 2004.

    "Khelcey had a strong presence on the court and as my friend, he was a significant source of inspiration for me," said Wright. "My heart remains heavy over Khelcey's passing short of the realization of his dreams, and Russell and I are committed to carry on his legacy by enabling his spirit to continue to motivate and inspire others through the annual bestowment of the KB3 Memorial Educational Fund."

    "The award is intended to help our youth understand that with drive and passion, they can reach any goal they set for themselves," Westbrook shares.

    In honor of Khelcey Barrs' uplifting journey, each of the 10 awards provides $5,000 toward tuition at a 4-year, fully accredited U.S. college or university. Individuals selected are graduating high school seniors and leaders who aspire to be first-generation college students-the first in their families to attend college who have attended K-12 in an inner-city environment and possess a strong track record of performance and leadership. Award recipients were also selected based on their GPA and essay submissions demonstrating their interest in furthering their education as well as significant contributions and service to their community.

    Students awarded the scholarship, will be featured on the D Wright Way Foundation website,, as they begin their exhilarating pursuit of higher education, highlighting their aspirations, successes, and achievements throughout the academic year. More information regarding this foundation's upcoming events and opportunities for involvement can be found on the website and via social media:


    Dorell Wright, NBA Forward-Guard, was selected 19th overall in the 2004 NBA draft. The legendary Pat Riley, one of the most celebrated coaches of all time, saw Wright's undeniable potential and athleticism; prompting him for the first time in his 17-year career history to draft a player straight out of high school to the Miami Heat. In 2006 Wright was a member of the first Miami Heat team to win an NBA Championship. After 6 years playing for the Heat, Wright was signed as a free agent with the Golden State Warriors on July 13, 2010. With two high-energy seasons with the Golden State Warriors under his belt, Dorell made an exciting move to the Philadelphia 76er's. With his new team, Dorell looks to continue soaring to new heights on and off the court. In 2010, Wright launched his D Wright Way Foundation, dedicated to the support and empowerment of marginalized youth. Learn more at

    Russell Westbrook, Founder of The Needs Foundation, is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the (NBA). This point guard is a three-time All-Star, and a three-time member of the All-NBA Second Team. Westbrook played high school basketball for Leuzinger High School before playing two seasons of college basketball for the UCLA Bruins. He was selected in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft with the fourth overall pick by the Seattle SuperSonics, who relocated from Seattle to Oklahoma City six days after the draft. In his first season, Westbrook was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. Twice he has represented the United States on their national team, winning gold medals in the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Summer Olympics. Learn more at

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