The school of hard knocks…a place I have been very familiar with throughout my lifetime. I have never been shy to talk about my upbringing, and certainly growing up in Brooklyn was not easy. While money was tight and life could be rough at times, I also became the person I am today by learning how to hustle with the help of some mentors and gaining the street smarts that have helped me grow my business today.
I mention my early days because in the latest episode of The Hook-Up, which debuts tonight on YES Network following the Yankees postgame, I was able to meet a group of young people who I felt I could relate to. Young kids with rough upbringings that needed some guidance. These young kids were at the Yonkers PAL. (By the way, PAL programs are a fantastic way for police to help guide kids toward a mature and responsible adulthood). I had the privilege of being accompanied by two superstars that these kids could look up to: 5x Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield and 4x World Series champion Darryl Strawberry.
With the boxing program, it was incredible to see everyone’s faces when Evander walked in with new gear, graciously donated by Everlast. And for the kids participating in the baseball program, they were surprised with personal instruction from Darryl and gear from Rawlings.
Following our visit to the PAL, Evander, Darryl and I also went to Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, NY. With Darryl being a cancer survivor himself, he was able to spend time with patients in their cancer center and offer words of encouragement. If you were not aware, Winthrop is one of the first hospitals in the world to offer CyberKnife treatment, a non-invasive, pain-free alternative to surgery for the treatment of both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
This was such an incredible day with two of the most larger-than-life sports figures of their era.
In addition to tonight’s airing, you can watch the full episode on the following re-air dates (all times ET):
- Sunday, August 2nd 7pm
- Tuesday, August 4th 11pm (following Yankees-Boston game/postgame)
- Saturday, August 8th 10pm (following Yankees Encore)
- Sunday, August 9th 7pm
- Monday, August 10th 11pm (following Yankees Classics premiere)
- Saturday, August 15th 10pm (following Yankees Encore)
- Sunday, August 16th 7pm
- Saturday, August 22nd 10pm (following Yankees Encore)
- Sunday, August 23rd 7pm