San Quentin sports programs foster teamwork, athleticism
By Rahsaan Thomas, Sports Editor, San Quentin News
Photos by Krissi Khokhobashvili, CDCR Public Information Officer
In the midst of NBA finals, Golden State Warriors General Manager Bob Myers and assistant GM Kirk Lacob played some basketball on their own against the San Quentin Warriors.
Sports are a longtime tradition at San Quentin State Prison, where volunteers regularly visit the prison’s baseball, tennis, soccer, running and basketball programs.
“I think it (coming into San Quentin) shows that we care and that people are people no matter what station you are in life,” said Myers.
Myers played for the visiting “Green Team” and led with 26 points and 23 rebounds in their 85-79 victory.
It was June 6, the day before game two of the Golden State Warriors NBA finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers and the biggest moment for the Warriors in 40 years — the last time they reached the finals.
“When I play basketball, I forget about everything else. It’s a good release for my mind,” said Myers.
“Basketball is my calm place, my happy place,” added Lacob. “Playing hard is a release from life. When I play basketball, I don’t have to worry about anything except what’s happening here on the court.”
At halftime, S.Q. Warrior GM Robert “Bishop” Butler addressed all participants at mid-court, along with Christian Sports Ministry’s Green Team player Brandon Curtis.
“Whatever you do, act like the world is watching,” said Butler in his inspirational message.
Curtis advised, “Use your time wisely, because you never know how the Lord will use it to make you prosper.”
The S.Q. Warriors posted strong performances from the roster that included athletes Harry “ATL” Smith, Allan McIntosh and Anthony Ammons.
They came with one of the deepest rosters of talent they ever brought into San Quentin. The last time Myers played at San Quentin, with former NBA players Luke Walton and Jarren Collins in September 2014, they lost to the S.Q. Warriors, 92-88.
The Green Team also lost its first two games of the 2015 San Quentin basketball season.
They returned with former overseas pros Evan Fjelds and Griffin Reilly; former Washington Generals player Antoine Maddox and several former college players like Pat Lacey, Kyle Flowers, Justis Willis, Ilegbodu, Charles Lowery and Mike Picone, plus Curtis. Also suited up in Green for the first time in two years was recent Washington University (in St. Louis) graduate and ex-point guard Kent Lacob, Kirk’s brother and a future Golden State employee.
“They brought in some good talent. Sometimes basketball IQ and teamwork can outdo athleticism and potential,” said Smith.
Myers was recently chosen as the NBA Executive of the Year.
“It’s an award that singles me out but you can’t get that without a lot of help,” Myers said. “To be voted on by other GMs means a lot.”
Myers plays like a man who should have been a pro. Averaging 32 points a game, he has led the Green Team in scoring every time he played in San Quentin — even with former NBA players as teammates. He did play for UCLA’s 1995 championship team.
After the game, S.Q. Warrior Smith expressed the team’s appreciation that the Golden State executives had taken the time to come into San Quentin. “Here we are … incarcerated and, through basketball, (we are) meeting guys who are doing great things out in the world,” he said.