John Wooden's Final Recruit Carries His Legacy
Raymond Townsend Now Trains Youngsters – Thousands Of Them
Single father Raymond with daughters Kristiare (left) and Rachelle
(EDITOR'S NOTE; While UCLA DIDN'T QUALIFY FOR THE NCAA TOURMANT THIS SEASON WE OFFER A HEARTWARMING STORY TODAY ABOUT A FORMER BRUIN STAR)
By Bosmat Eynav
This is a story of a remarkable soul, Raymond Townsend, the first Filipino-American to play in the NBA and the legendary John Wooden's last recruit before retiring.
For me it's inspiring to see how a retired NBA player merges into their life after the playing career. How are all those skills transformed to leadership?
Raymond, who has fame and power, dedicated his life to educate youngsters behind the scene and plant In their consciousness strong seeds to succeed in life.
He was an all-Pac 8 Conference guard on the 1975 UCLA Basketball National Championship team which was Wooden's 10th and final NCAA championship team.
Townsend then was a first round draft choice of the Golden State Warriors. He played there for three years and became a starter in February 1980, averaging 12 points per game and five assists.
In 1981 he played for the Indiana Pacers , then he played in Italy, Spain and Brazil before retiring in 1991.
Raymond's roots and values were established early by his loving mother Virginia Marella and through the teachings and examples of his coach and mentor, his character continued to develop throughout his life.
The grateful recipient of Coach Wooden's legacy, quoting him "service one can achieve is serving one another", Raymond decided to pay it forward.
To my mind, his greatest accomplishment was achieved after his basketball career.
He initially began in 1991 working with under privileged, at risk youth, ward of the court and special needs children academically along with starting a basketball league called "RT Basketball."
Slowly and patiently Raymond imparted crucial life lessons arming his kids with strong values. They learned of trust in goodness, respect for themselves and others, responsibility for their choices, perseverance in their aspirations and dreams.
Raymond would always quote Mark 9:23 since his days at UCLA all things are possible for he who believes."
His dedicated work with the youth population in Northern California has advanced to more than 45,000 children worldwide. Thousands of his special needs students are living prosperous lives the basketball players he has trained coached and mentored have furthered their carriers playing overseas, and in the NBA.
One of his current students is Miami Heat's Tyler Johnson, who Raymond coached and mentored since he was eight years old.
Raymond is now the extensive director of RT basketball, running leagues and camps in San Jose privately training elite players and supporting children from broken houses.
He runs camps internationally in six countries, Italy, Spain , Greece ,Grease , Venezuela , Brazil, and The Philippines,
In 2009 Townsend was awarded UCLA Pilipino Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.
His innate talent is to bring out the potential in his kids by listening and recognizing their needs and direct them toward successful solutions with strength, trust and joy.
Unfortunately technology is changing our society for the worst in ways of human interaction language, and pace of life, We lost the values of etiquette and manners. Raymond in his work is preserving those very values we are losing.
Raymond with the Warriors
With his own brand of unconditional love, modesty ,warmth, joy, laughter and a lot of hard work, he teaches kids about will power, force of decision making, dedication, and reaching one's goals. He is raising warriors who learn acceptance, mutual respect, gratitude, connection to the Life Force and Love.
I award Raymond Townsend with the title "Light Worker," for his unflagging efforts to cultivate growth, hope and success influencing generations of children who come from broken homes.
This work will extend beyond his lifetime through these children who will demonstrate what they believe, and in doing so will continue the legacy of Raymond Townsend. For his selfless influence he must be recognized and this work supported.
As a coach Wooden impacted his life forever so he has a path to significantly influence the lives of many.