Ahead of his induction Saturday into the Hall of Fame, former UTC student and National Football League wide receiver Terrell Owens went on a shopping spree with local student-athletes and children.
Dick’s Sporting Goods made it possible for dozens of local children to spend $125 each at the store Friday morning.
Some of the children were excited about seeing a famous athlete—who will give his Hall of Fame speech at UTC Saturday afternoon—and others were excited about the opportunity to go shopping.
“I think that I’m was going to have a lot of fun and that everybody was going to have a lot of fun spending their money in the store,” Hillcrest Elementary School student Jaetyn Richardson, 8, said. “I want to buy stuff for my sports. I play basketball every year. I want to help my sports so I can be good.”
One of the first things that Hillcrest Elementary School student Maije Brown, 10, put in his cart was a basketball.
Brown wanted to buy the basketball for his sister because he accidentally broke hers by bouncing it on a nail, which caused it to deflate.
His sister was upset and Brown was responsible for buying her another one.
But one of the adults at the event told him she would buy him the ball and he needed to shop for himself.
CEO of Independent Youth Services Foundation Herbert “Book” McCray, who was on the UTC basketball team that won the NCAA Division II national championship in 1977, helped organize the event and said it’s important to invest in youth.
His organization connects kids with a variety of mentors and focuses, in part, on teaching life skills, the value of education and preparing for life after high school.
Check out photos and videos of Owens’ visit below.
Owens spoke about the other players who are being inducted in this Hall of Fame class, about why he wanted to have his ceremony in Chattanooga and about why it’s important to him to give back to his community.