Allan Guei is a fine example of what CAN happen. The son of Ivory Coast immigrants and a recent grad of Compton High School in California is headed to college on a full scholarship thanks to his basketball skills. And it is also because of those same skills that seven other young men and women will benefit.
First, a little backstory.
Advertising executive Court Crandall wanted to reward the good kids at Compton High School, so he created a competition called "Compton Free Throw." The concept is simple: any Compton senior with a 3.0 GPA can compete to win a college scholarship in a free throw shooting contest. Mr. Crandall's project caught fire and he managed to raise $75,000, enough money to provide the $40,000 grand prize and allow him to pay for one year of college for each of the seven students who also made it to the finals.
The eventual winner of the contest, Allan Guei was a star on the school's basketball team and qualified to participate. Eighty Compton students entered the competition and just eight were randomly selected. Mr. Guei made it to the finals and edged out the runner-up by hitting 5 of the 10 shots. The $40,000 check seen above was all his. ... Until Allan Guei had a great idea.
In May, Allan announced that he was accepting a full scholarship to play basketball at Cal State Northridge. While NCAA rules would have allowed him to keep almost every penny of the $40,000 and use them for his college expenses, Mr. Guei has decided to give back to his community and has donated all of the money to the seven runners-up.
In a story from the LA Times, Allan Guei explained his reasoning;
"They were all smart and wanted to pursue their dreams, but were having financial difficulties," Guei said after basketball practice recently. "I felt it was the right move to help the others, especially when everything else was taking off for me."
The young man from tough streets of Compton, CA has set a great example after he winning $40,000 in a free throw shooting contest at his former high school. Well done, Allan Guei. Well done. Kudos are also due to WDCW's marketing whiz, Court Crandall, for his vision and persistence in making his dream a reality.
If you are curious about Mr. Guei's skills on the basketball court, we found a YouTube clip that appears to show that the young man has "skills."