Derrick Stafford takes a timeout with Shaw youth
By Airman 1st Class Daniel Blackwell, 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 18, 2012
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Derrick Stafford, National Basketball Association referee, visited Shaw's youth center to speak with children, Dec. 14.
Stafford arrived escorted by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Montjoy, U.S. Air Forces Central communications focal point assistant NCOIC, and toured the facility to see the youths' daily routines and observe their work displayed around the facility.
After the tour Stafford began his presentation in the gymnasium.
He spoke to the children on a broad array of topics ranging from his job as an NBA referee to the importance of integrity and higher education.
In addition, he explained that there are many other jobs that the children could strive toward that are involved in NBA games aside from being a professional athlete or referee (coaches, technicians, photographer, ect.).
Stafford brought many props to help illustrate his points to the children. He brought the sneakers he referees in as well as his jersey and other illustrative memorabilia that he used throughout his presentation.
After speaking, Stafford took questions from the children and signed basketballs for those who asked.
"This visit by Mr. Stafford went excellent and well exceeded expectations," said Montjoy. "The kids seemed to be captivated by Derrick and could not ask enough questions."
"To me, it's not about Derrick's "celebrity" status, it's about the kids understanding that successful people outside of the base environment care and want to see them do great things," Montjoy continued.
Stafford has officiated 24 NBA seasons and has refereed many high profile games around the world, such as the 1992 Legends All-Star game in Orlando, Fla., and the 1997 McDonald's Championship in Paris to name a few.
Stafford is also the founder and director of Don't Foul Out Foundation Inc., a non-profit, charitable youth-development program.