Houston Rockets: Russell Westbrook Launches Program Investing in Youth

Russell Westbrook #0 of the Houston Rockets gives James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Houston Rockets gives James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Russell Westbrook has led the NBA in assists in each of the last 2 years, but his assists in the community off the court are just as important. Here’s how his latest community effort is actually better than anything he has ever done on the hardwood!

Russell Westbrook has always been a big picture guy, despite the fact that many perceive him as otherwise. People see a hard-charging player on the court and interpret that to be the way he is off the court. But that is far from the case, as Westbrook always prioritizes involvement in the community, evidenced in part by his contribution to UCLA’s basketball program, which was the most ever by a former UCLA basketball player, according to Chuck Schilken of the L.A. Times.

The amount wasn’t specified, likely because Westbrook didn’t want the attention, as he genuinely does these types of things out of sincerity. There are a myriad of other examples of Westbrook’s generosity, including his Why Not? Foundation in which Westbrook has done countless deeds, such as provide Thanksgiving dinner for underprivileged families and even purchase a car for a struggling single mother.

Russell Westbrook’s latest philanthropic efforts were in his hometown of Los Angeles, where he kick-started the Westbrook Brownstein Green Tech Program, according to Reagan Alexander of People magazine. The program is dedicated to providing at-risk inner city students with opportunities and job training they wouldn’t otherwise have access to such as coding, computer literacy, and computer engineering. This also will provide them with digital job skills and give students the option to enroll in classes that will even help them gain skills to drone piloting. They too will be provided with a computer lab, called the Westbrook/Brownstein Green Futures Lab, which will grant them access to computers and other relevant equipment at no cost for them or their families.

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This will be a profound opportunity for youth to start a career path in an IT industry that is never short of demand for more labor. The IT industry as a whole has an unemployment rate of only 1.3% according to CompTIA, which is the leading technology industry association.

If these youth choose to go into an advanced IT career, such as cybersecurity, this could be guaranteed lifelong employment, as the cybersecurity industry has had an unemployment rate of 0%, according to Steve Morgan of Cybersecurity Ventures.

This further illustrates the phenomenal opportunity Westbrook is providing these youths, especially if they choose to stay in this field long-term. A large amount of these program beneficiaries are in the inner city and would seemingly be unable to afford college. Many of these inner city youths are unable to go without working 40+ hours after turning 18 or even 17 in many cases.

Thanks to Westbrook, these youths will have an entry point into a career they may not have otherwise planned on pursuing, and certainly wouldn’t have had access to, whether it be due to the lack of funds or the lack of available resources.

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Kudos to Russell Westbrook for constantly making a difference in the community and investing in the youth!