LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- As we continue to honor the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali, the big question now many say is what will the Derby City do to embody the Champ's message?
A West Louisville non-profit group is trying to do just that, keep Ali’s message of compassion and service funneling throughout The Greatest’s hometown. Although these young men in the Pride Leadership Academy aren't world renowned boxers, they're hoping to leave a positive path of their own.
“That's one thing that Muhammad Ali communicated, he communicated taking pride in himself and taking pride in his community,” Marcus Harris, founter/CEO of the Pride Leadership Academy, said. “That's something that we have to really get back to as far as developing our youth.”
The Pride Leadership Academy says West Louisville's sports options are bare, so with the hopes of making more avenues available and trades like carpentry and construction, there could be a future champ in their respective field of choice.
“For people in the west end that don't have nothing to look up to and that's something they can look up to because he grew up there and he made something of himself,” Stephan Britton, an incoming UK Freshman and member of the organization, said.
“He knew what he was doing so he could stand up for himself, no matter where he was,” Dajion Lewis, also an incoming UK Freshman and member of the group, said. “He knew what he was aiming for and had the right mindset.”
Sports is the backbone of the organization as it strives to help those in low income situations chase their dreams. But the mission is more about a positive movement doing activities such as interacting with Louisville Metro Police, planting and restoring homes. It's a side they say many aren't seeing in West Louisville as the focus usually centers on violence.
“It's just ignorance, why keep killing when you can do something positive with your life...why kill your own people,” Britton said. “[Ali] would be upset. Because he always talked about building each up.”
"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth," one of Ali's well known quotes.