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York County college players start nonprofit to teach kids basketball and financial literacy

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports
SMG Foundation founders and attendees pose for a photo after the organization's first event on Tuesday. The nonprofit was founded by a number of basketball players from York County.
  • The SMG (See More Good) Foundation was started in June.
  • The nonprofit was created to teach basketball and finance to area youngsters..
  • Multiple York County athletes are founders of the organization.

In an effort to see more good in the world, a group of York County basketball players have created an organization to better the future of the area’s next generation of athletes.

The SMG (See More Good) Foundation was created to spread positive images to the youth of central Pennsylvania through basketball and improve their futures with financial literacy knowledge.

Among the group's founders are Monmouth University senior and York Catholic High School graduate Melik Martin, Saint Michael’s College sophomore and former York Country Day athlete Jalen Gorham, Central Penn College junior and York Catholic graduate Jaime Orr and a Princeton University senior from York, Jared Young. Fellow York Catholic graduate Torrey Thomas, a certified software developer, created the foundation's website and Martin runs the social-media accounts.

Martin said the group has had discussions about forming the organization since 2016 when they got together at summer basketball tournaments. Once the COVID-19 pandemic forced the friends back to the area from their respective colleges, the timing was right to turn their conversations into actions.

Between Young’s experience with business courses and summer analyst gigs at Morgan Stanley and McKinsey & Company, the foundation blends basketball training with financial literacy training during events.

Martin, a marketing major at Monmouth, admitted that he still has a lot to learn about managing finances despite taking multiple business courses and having a father who is an accountant. At the first SMG Foundation event this week, Young led a discussion with the middle-school boys in attendance and their parents to get the kids to understand the difference between purchases that are wants vs. ones that are needs.

“So when they get to school and they’re by themselves they know how to ration their money,” Martin said. “They know maybe a tattoo would be nice, but it would better to have two weeks worth of food.”

In addition to the basketball training sessions and finance training, the organization also shares interviews on its social-media platforms with athletes from the area doing positive things. Two of the first episodes of the SMG Spotlight series featured York High graduates CJ Boxley (Lebanon Valley College) and Kyree Generett (Kutztown University). 

Boxley is now a teacher after he retired from basketball and Martin said that Generett wants to return to York High and teach after his basketball career. It’s important to Martin to use the foundation to shine a light on the positive things members of the community are doing for the youth.

“We want to highlight them because you don’t always hear about those things and they’re amazing,” Martin said. 

The SMG Foundation has two more events planned for this weekend in Manchester Township. Each event the group holds offers an opportunity for the founders to learn and improve as they build toward the first major event, SMG Day on Aug. 15 at a location to be determined.

With experiences from their own basketball and college careers, Martin and the other SMG founders are excited for the opportunity to help the next generation of basketball players learn and grow as they try to help the youth see more good in the world.

“I’ve seen teammates waste their money, I’ve seen it,” Martin said. “We really can teach the kids something.”

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.