MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- For years, Mount Vernon native Christopher Lowe Jr. wanted to give back to the community that shaped him.
But it took awhile for the professional basketball player, who now plays in a league called the Österreichische Basketball Bundesliga for the Xion Dukes of Austria, to find the energy, time, and resources necessary to formally cultivate something.
Now, it's all coming to fruition with the C-Lowe 14 Skills and Drills Foundation , a non-profit with the mission to provide athletic, academic, and scholarship opportunities to children in Mount Vernon and surrounding communities.
The first event is a wine tasting on Friday, July 8 at Apricots & Honey (673 East Lincoln Ave, Mount Vernon) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Also on the docket: Weeklong basketball workshops covering all aspects of health and wellness, nutrition, strengthening and conditioning, as well as drills and plays. Lowe has invited some of his teammates and friends who play professionally to lend a hand and work with the kids at at local high schools and middle schools. Go to the group's Facebook page for more specifics.
He's also planning a "Hoops for Health-Nutrition Wellness and Fitness" day, with plans to partner with various local agencies to operate a free “Heart of Sole” Sneaker and Sock drive.
Two weeks ago, in fact, Lowe facilitated a "Hoops for Health Clinic" at Fredrick Douglas where he spoke to 30 middle schoolers about pursuing a professional career in basketball. He also ran them through a series of drills and fundamental plays used in the game.
His own athletic journey began when he was eight and attended the YMCA. Utilizing the basic skills provided to him there, such as sportsmanship and team collaboration, he went on to Mount Vernon’s St. Ursula team and Mount Vernon’s Junior Basketball team, the latter of which he helped lead to the 2004 State Championship.
Lowe, who maintains a residence in Mount Vernon despite living overseas, credits the success of his professional career to the Mount Vernon coaches, teachers, and mentors that believed in him. Now that he can give back with his new foundation, he said it's a dream come true.
To purchase tickets for the July 8 event, call (914) 667-8813 or go to Clowe14foundationlaunchevent.eventbrite.com .