To an extent, college athletic programs like to have athletes do charity work and hospital visits and the like.
There are several good reasons for this. First, it’s good PR to see athletes go to hospitals to visit sick children and the like. That’s not to be underestimated. Secondly though, it’s good for the players, who often live in an unrealistic bubble of adulation. You can imagine that coaches, who often have to deprogram recruits anyway, don’t mind hitting them with a dose of cold reality. And third of course, is that spending time with sick children or humble charities that are doing good things helps. You can see videos of sick and depressed children just beaming when they are visited. It’s sweet.
Sometimes of course it’s not just PR. A lot of Duke and ACC fans still have a soft spot for former UNC star Eric Montross, who formed a deep bond with Jason Clark, a cancer patient at UNC who sadly passed away at 16. At Michigan State, Adreian Payne was really touched and moved by eight-year-old cancer patient Lacy Holsworth. who also passed away (sadly, Payne was shot and killed earlier this year when he tried to intervene in a domestic dispute, apparently as a peacemaker).
From what we’ve seen so far from Ryan Young we’d put him in, for lack of a better term, the sincerity camp. He’s been helping out with Iglesia Presbiteriana Emanuel Church to feed the needy and said this:
“When I came here, I wanted to work with somebody and be able to have a positive effect on the community especially just with how large figures are as Duke basketball players are in the Durham community. It’s important to get out there and help others in the way we can, and hopefully use a platform to shed some light on some awesome operations like they have here.”
The article doesn’t say exactly how, but Young is apparently putting his money where his mouth is and using his NIL to help, which is a step above and beyond PR.
For anyone who is interested in helping, you can hit the church Web site here.