CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Over 170 Lynwood/Lansing area youths and their parents weathered the storm Saturday to participate in a free clinic hosted by New York Met and hometown hero Curtis Granderson and his Grand Kids Foundation at Ho Chunk Sports & Expo Center.
"This was the best day ever," said Carter Stephens, Grand Kids Camp participant. "Curtis is awesome!"
T.F. South graduate Granderson is no stranger to paying it forward and spends an extensive amount of time trying to inspire area kids and promoting the game. He recently visited his former Nathan Hale Elementary School and Heritage Middle School last week to talk education, sports and other questions kids would have for the all-star outfielder.
"I just remember what It was like being a kid and having some great influences in my life," Granderson said. "No matter what we want to do in life we have to give it our all. I played in both leagues [Lynwood and Lansing] at an early age, which ultimately helped me get to the point of where I am at today."
Mentoring was a large part of Granderson's recipe for success and is still evident as his former coaches are very active in assisting him with his clinics.
"I am most proud of the man that Curtis has become," said Ken Reynolds, former coach and friend. "When you follow what he is about and how he stresses character and education first, that's where we are most impressed. You see him working with these young men and women, it makes you proud."
Granderson's camp was run by former coaches, local players from the Lansing Redbirds, T.F. South players and South Suburban Colllege players, to name a few.
"It's wonderful that he is instilling the same values that made him successful into the future generations," Reynolds said.
Granderson and his Grand Kids Foundation, with the help from sponsors Louisville Slugger, Phiten and New Balance provided free bags, bracelets and individual photos for each camp participant.