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No Place I’d Rather Be

The scene could have been in a movie. Not just any movie, but a James Bond, Fast and Furious type movie.

It was a Friday afternoon in rush hour traffic when André got the call. “I’m out! Come pick me up!”

In a span of minutes, Nick was released from the hospital, traded his hospital gown for a Street2Street shirt, and jumped into André’s car before he even had time to put it in park, and then they were off.

Without skipping a beat, Nick took his place on the sideline for Friday Night Live at Street2Street. It might not be normal for a man who spent two weeks in the hospital due to a heart attack, but in the words of Nick, “There’s no place I’d rather be”.

Nick was introduced to Street2Street as a referee. Turns out, we needed him around our kids even more, so he became a volunteer, then a coach, and now a cheerleader.

In the city of Paterson, he is respected by every kid and adult alike. He’s known for his success and for his skills. He is a basketball legend every other day of the week, but on a Friday Night, he’s known as the biggest fan of our Street2Street kids.

Once he retired, he decided to spend his time showing up for the next generation. Every practice, every game and every family picnic, Nick shows up. For some, he’s the grandfather they’ve always wanted. For others, he’s the mentor they’ve always needed. For everyone, though, he’s the cheerleader they deserve.

Nick is the one kids share their hopes and dreams with. Partly because they see his success and want to follow in his footsteps. And partly because he’s the first man to ask who they want to become. He believes in them so much that they’re starting to believe in themselves, too.

Street2Street exists for kids who need a cheerleader and role model in their lives, and Street2Street exists because men like Nick show up, day after day, cheering on the sideline.

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