Raleigh gym named for Enloe, NC State, NBA star Nate McMillan :: WRALSportsFan.com – WRALSportsFan

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wow, wow. Well, just unbelievable. You know, to come back and be here accepting this war a war. You know, I was trying to write down some, all my thoughts and trying to come up with some stories And you’re talking about 50 years here, 50 plus years of being with you being in this park, being with parks and recreation. I first want to give thanks to God. So I want to give thanks to God for this day in all days because I’ve truly truly been blessed. This is an amazing honor that I’m receiving here today. I’m just so, so grateful that you all are here and I’m grateful because you all are part of this. You all are part of me. You all have shaped me and I thank you. Thank you for being here. As I mentioned, I tried to put together A 10, 15 minute speech and give you some stories of how all of this happened, Randy gave you most. But when I was trying to put this together and write some things down, um, I found that 15 minutes will be taken up by just saying thank you. There’s no way I can tell all the stories. I can thank all the folks, all the people that I played a part in my life in helping me become the man that you see in front of you. There’s no way I can, I can do that. So I say thank you to every last one of you, every last one of you. If I spoke to you, you are a part of me and I thank you. I thank you for that. There are few people that I do want to call their names. As I mentioned, I can’t call everybody’s name but there are a few people that I do want to call their name and say thank you for what you’ve done. Being a part of this foundation that I’m standing on. I’m standing here today. Want to give a special thanks to Anthony his late wife, Shelly josh for making this happen. Thank you brother. That’s my spiritual leader. After every game I get a text from him. Win or lose. I get a text from it. Keep your head up. Stay lifted, proud of you. That’s my spiritual leader. Yes ma’am spiritual leader over there. I’ll talk about him a little later. The city parks board and city council. Thank you. The Parks and Recreation and Greenway advisory board. I want to thank you. City Council, Corey branches staff, thank you. Lance Park staff Christy jones. It was Christie, thank you. Thank you. Okay, that’s the young Freddie Hicks Director of the park here. Thank you, Christy the planning team. Now I’m gonna tear up some names here, shaw, sheen, baker kelly beach giovanna, Harris, ken, hiss. Lor, Christy jones again, scott pain. Thank you. K. C. S. S. U. Kip kevin Barbie jimmy, you guys stand up. Just stand up, stand up. Okay. Thank you guys. I want. I want to thank you For all you’ve done the last 10 years we learned in our communities. What it’s about giving back And what you’ve done the last 10 years with your foundation and the program. I’m just happy and thankful you’ve allowed me to be a part. That’s the all your staff and all the volunteers of K. C. S. S. U. And it’s a lot of volunteers, Those of you who have volunteered to help K. C. S. S. You please stand. Thank you. My family, my brothers, my sisters, randy, Lorenzo Kenny and Benny a sister linda, my adopted sister, Ceneta, my cousins, my nieces and nephews, my sister in laws. I thank you. I thank you for just all the love and support that you’ve given. And if you are cousin and I have a lot of those stand up please. Brothers and sisters and cousins stand. Let them see you. Let them see. Open C and I want my wife and my son to stand real quick. Okay, I just want to say in front of my family before you became my family, I want them to see you because a lot of them don’t know you, they haven’t had the opportunity to meet you, My wife, she and I have been together for 35 years, which is celebrated 36 Our 35th anniversary. Um been together for 38 years and that’s my anchor. That’s my love. Uh that’s my girl, my son, my son, um, who’s now sitting on the bench working with me. I’m just so proud of this guy flew in this morning from Atlanta. It’s gonna jump back on a plane to go back to Atlanta tonight because he has to be back in Atlanta for some business and I’m just so proud of this guy, I don’t know what to do, he’s going to take over for me real soon, he doesn’t know that, but he is, he’s gonna take over for me real real soon. But I thank you and I love you. My daughter is not here. My daughter’s in Los Angeles. Uh Yeah, you guys can sit, my daughter’s in Los Angeles, she’s finishing up school there and she couldn’t be here because next weekend, but these flights as expensive as they are, we couldn’t fly, we weren’t gonna fly her into Raleigh this weekend and then fly her back to Atlanta next weekend, next weekend, this young man is getting married. So uh yeah. Mhm. So so we’re saving those miles for the trip uh next week, but I’m proud of her. Um just, you know, my family, it’s just the backbone, um my support system, I know it’s a challenge for you guys, my wife, you know, basically put her career on pause so that I could pursue my career. I know the challenge it is for my son and my kids too. Uh live in my world when you’re trying to create your own world. It’s tough, I know that and I thank you guys. I love you, love you, love you love you. You don’t really lost the words because I got so many words and there’s so, so much to say and I tried to write down some things and my son is my writer, you know, I’ll write down some things and as you can see, I’ve scribbled and I’ve highlighted, but this guy is an excellent writer. Ah we put some words together and I just want to acknowledge and talk about my foundation, what I’m made of and how I was made and you know, so today is an extremely proud day for me in a day, a whole near and dear to my heart. It is an honor and a tremendous, tremendous privilege to be able to come back to this special place, this special place I call home and be acknowledged by this community with the naming of this gimnasia. I thank you for that. Lines apart. My second home Back in the 70s, my mother moved us here as Randy. Randy mentioned I was in the first grade In 1970, 69, 70 And this is my second home until 1982 when I graduated high school and went off to college. I don’t remember much in the first grade. I don’t remember my first grade teacher’s name, but what I do remember is walking through lines part going to school to Emma Con Elementary and seeing those fields of dreams that we pass through every single day. I remember coming home from school and passing by these fields every single day. The field of dreams, Lions park parks and recreation. What you guys were doing for us back then it was magical. I’m getting chills just thinking it was magical. I’m gonna take you guys on a ride for just a minute. It was magical. And I ain’t talking about Disney world, I’m talking about. It was better than Disney world. It really was in the seventies in the summer, this place was lit up, It was lit up. We have four baseball fields, We have eight tennis courts, we have the now gymnasium called Nate Mcmillan. The Nate Mcmillan gymnasium. We had a playground people, I’m telling you it was 1000 people at this part during the week, at least 1000 people every night from about 6 to 10 o’clock at night every night and it was lit up And it was two games per field and it was all ages. It was little league, it was junior league, it was senior league, it was adult softball league. All the tennis courts were full with people waiting inside the gym, there was arts and craft. It was table tennis, it was volleyball, it was square dancing, Okay, all of these people are at this part at the same time and I was too young at that time to participate in sports and the guys that introduced me to sports. Could you please stand randy africa Box stand up, please, come on all those guys in Raleigh North, all those old heads and Roland robert, Ronnie look man, let me tell, let me tell some stories real quick about, you know, Pete, my goodness and lands. Okay. I was, I was too young to play at that time. We call him box, okay, his name is Alonzo, but Pete and Box and Ronnie and Robin and randy, those guys would be playing up at the park and we would be playing pickle and it was, it was blacks, it was white, it was young, it was old, it was everybody here plan and we would just be having fun and when box and red and Pete and those guys, they would be playing on the senior league field when they would come up to bat, everybody would run behind the fence like Willie Mays, like Babe Ruth was coming up to bat and we were sitting, we would sit there and wait for those guys to knock it out the park and when they would knock it over the fence, we would go chasing the ball and it was like, it was, it was like, you know, boxes coming up to the plate, randy. All of these guys taught me, taught us, you guys can effort how to play the game, it was magical. And as I mentioned at that time it was better than Disney world. We did that every single night. Every single night. It was a great place. It was a great place to grow up. As I mentioned, I remember we had the concession stand going up there, you can get hot dogs and peanuts and cotton candy and soft drinks and it was just, it was, it was amazing. It was just and you know the place to be, you know, but at 10 o’clock you had to be passed those tennis courts because what was gonna happen at tennis 10 o’clock, the lights go out, the lights go out and you didn’t want to walk through those woods and in the dark. So we didn’t have a watch, we couldn’t afford to watch but we knew when it was close to 10:00 We was getting past those tennis courts so that we can get on the other side. All the people up there was there for one single reason to have a good time enjoy. That was part of my foundation parks and recreation Freddy in Lions Park created and provided for me. I thank you for that. Lions Park helped set the foundation for me for the rest of my life. This part without a foundation one drifts and sways until you eventually eventually tumble and fall. That is if you were able to get up at all. I take great pride in my foundation. Every last one of you are part of this foundation, Every last one of you is a part of this foundation, I can assure you that the name going on this gymnasium. It’s on solid ground. It’s on solid ground. I want to just give you a few mentioned a few names and talk about my foundation because I think it’s what creates me. It’s who I am is how it was built. And I want to start with my family. I didn’t know my father. I’ve never seen my father day in my life. Don’t know anything about it. As Randy mentioned, I had a strong, tough loving mother. It didn’t take no joke man. Her name was Jeanette. That’s like Kobe and mike and Jordan’s. She had one name, Jeanette and she didn’t play man. She didn’t play. But she had a way of being tough with you but also loving you. A mother to all. A mother to her kids, to her sisters, to her brothers, to her niece is mother to all. That’s who I have. My mother raised six kids, adopted one And was a foster parent to 13 others. Her love was contagious and she shared it and she spread as I mentioned and I didn’t have that father figure my older brother had to take on that responsibility of being the father of our family while he was trying to navigate and find his way. I’ll come back to him. I want to talk about my cousin David who’s not here. We call them school, his name is David Carnell skull Murphy Hunter. Mhm. When I call, when I talked with him, that’s what I call him. My mother, As I mentioned, raised six kids and at that time I had my aunt and her son who was living with us. So we had about nine kids, nine people living in a three bedroom apartment in Raleigh North. It was time for us to go. So we had to move. And when we moved I didn’t want to go. But my cousin David, my aunt man, open up their doors to me. Didn’t ask no question. I didn’t ask for no help, then ask for no assistance. Said I could stay with her because I wanted to continue to play it lines part. I didn’t want to move from this community. I didn’t want to leave this community. I didn’t want to leave my friends and my aunt Mag allowed me to stay with them and live with it. Not only stay, I moved in with them When I was 12. Okay I would spend the night for a couple of nights and then eventually when I got into high school I moved in with him because at that time you had to live in this district to play at this part. So I needed to use their address. 12:05 Raley blvd (833) 944 1 was the phone number. I thank him. I think my man for again being a part of that foundation that established me because if that didn’t happen, who knows what would have happened at that time. I want to talk about my faith. You know, again, we’re talking about the 70s now and I have my faith two to my family. I’m speaking on its second to my family. And the reason for that was because in the 70’s I didn’t know my faith, I knew my family, but I didn’t know my faith, God was always present in our home. Always. I knew that God was always present in my home and in my family, my aunts and uncles, all of them has always been present. But at that time as a kid, you ain’t thinking about that, you know? And on Sundays my mother was getting up to go to church and I was getting up to come to the park. I didn’t know my faith then. And me and my cousin David was speaking, we was talking one time and we was talking about our blessings and you know, all the things that’s been happening. And we’re thankful for this and thankful for that. And I asked him, I said, you know, man, I wonder why I just continue to see blessing after blessing after blessing. Why. And I recall him saying to me, he’s like Nate. Aunt Jeanette man used to go to church every sunday. And while you was out there playing Aunt Jeanette was in church praying for her, you and all of her kids, she was praying for you man and you know, I just kind of took some time to think about that and just wow, wow, that was true. My mother was in church every single sunday, every single sunday now and you, my reverend reverend brooks, he know he is as real as they get and there was some nights, I don’t know how they got up to go to be in church on sunday, but they got up so what they started doing was having their fun on on friday nights so that they can get in bed and get to sleep and get in church on Sundays, but my mother was in church every sunday, I don’t care what happened, saturday night, she was there every sunday praying. Her belief lies within me and I’m grateful to have both at the front of my foundation. Thanks be to God for the many blessings. Okay, I want to talk real quick about role models and I got many, many role models right here in this room and all over the country, but I want to talk about three here and again, I can’t mention everybody because I’m telling you all of you guys box Ronnie Robin Pete Africa, all you guys. Okay Mr Lovett is back there. All my role models, Mr jeffries all my role models, okay, and I can’t mention everybody, but I want to mention three And I heard athletes say one time I’m not a role model and I don’t want to be a role model. Well you don’t decide whether you’re a role model or not. You don’t make that decision. It’s the people who are watching you. It’s the people who are observing you. We all are role models. We all are role models, young and old. I talked to my son we would talk all the time. He’s a role model for my daughter. His younger sister he’s a role model for her. I know you might be in middle school or going into high school. We had that conversation many of times but you are role models. We all are role models. You don’t determine whether you’re a role model or not. It’s the people who are observing you and my one of my role models, that’s my big brother. As I mentioned I didn’t have a father figure, I didn’t have a father figure. I watched him. I followed him. I wanted to do what he did, he would travel those guys would go to different parks and play and I would be probably a block maybe 100 yards behind just walking with them of trying to go with them and they would go somewhere and end up playing on the field and then I was slowly inch my way up and you know as randy mentioned when they didn’t have enough players to play. They would let the little young guy play. I just wanted to be with him. I wanted to play with him. I remember his he was playing football for V. F. W. And we was like mean joe greene. You guys remember that mean joe greene commercial where he walks through the tunnel with this little kid. I woke up with randy one morning six o’clock he had to be over here about 66 30. Him and boxing. Those guys they were playing for V. F. W. Football and I’m walking over here with him and I find I think a dollar or two, Maybe it’s a dollar or $5 and I’m walking with him or with him. Get to rock to his football game and then I got to go back home it’s 6 30 in the morning And I found I think a dollar or a $5 bill and I gave it to Randy and I’m carrying as hell give him give him the money and he comes back and those boys from Shavers Heights must have wrapped him up because he had a broken leg, he broke his leg. He was in a cast and all. You know those are memories. That box is unbelievable. Football player, kevin bobby that was a little dorset Tony Dorsett. I mean it’s just we had great athletes over here but this guy found found a way out of no way he found a way out of. No way he tricked miss Edith into marrying him. Mhm. He uh he didn’t have much. Didn’t have much. He had a big afro, big red Afro had a couple pair of jeans. Um He had a lot of love, he had a lot of determination. He had a competitive spirit. I have yet to see in any person, I don’t know anybody more competitive than him. I don’t know anybody that works harder than him. I remember he told me a story, he said He was talking to a friend one day and his friend told him man, I’ve never seen a poor light skinned brother before. I said I thought about that. You know, I’m like I thought about that a poor light skinned guy and I know what he was thinking and you will never see one again. You will never see one again because he was gonna he he was gonna make sure that he became successful, you will never see that guy again. And he did as my mother did the best he could with what he had and he ended up marrying my sister in law who these two became my adopted parents. Uh you know back in the day when I was in high school and going off to college. Those were the people that took me to the All Star game. Those were the people who took me to college and dropped me off. Those were the people who picked me up from college. Those were the people who took me to the airport and dropped me off when, when I first flew out to Seattle and they have had that support system ever since I thank you. Thank you. They just celebrated again. I tell you me and my wife been together 35 years. 38 years, married. 35. You guys just celebrated your what? 38 anniversary you’ve been together? What 50 years. Thank you. Thank you. Another role model of mines is mr Freddie Hicks as randy And you guys was just mentioning that family. That man was dr huxtable before Bill Cosby was, he was our doctor husk huxtable Before Bill Cosby. This is in the 70s. When did that show? Come on eighties or nineties or something. Now we had dr huxtable before then. Smooth, classy, No nonsense. As we mentioned, a beautiful wife, beautiful family. I wanted to be like him. I respected him. That’s the guy I wanted to be. I wanted to be like my brother. But on the outside I saw this man, I wanted to be like him and I had a great deal of respect for him. He taught us respect and showed us what self respect, looks like you were going to respect yourself, respect others and respect lines part on his watch. I received my degree in Recreation administration because I wanted to be a director. Like Freddie Hicks. I went to school for that. I wanted to be that guy. I wanted to be, that man had a nice car, works hard, no nonsense taught us. But he was an example. I could see that I didn’t want to be like, my dreams were not to be at that time. Dr J and ah mo cheeks and magic and all of those guys because I didn’t see those people except on tv. I saw these people every day. I saw them every day and those were my role models. And again, there’s many of you out here though. I was watching all of you. I was watching the older guys in my community. Okay. I was watching the teachers and my coaches and you all were role models. But I just want to talk about thank you. Thank you for what you did being that example that I needed, being that example that I needed and I thank you for that. The last one I want to speak on is my wife. You know, I just talked about us celebrating 35 years and 38 years together. Um she taught me how to love she. Not only did she teach me how to love, she taught me how to say I love you an example. I saw that example every day With 13,870 days plus somewhere in there we’ve been together, I’ve been observing you and I’ve been observing you watch raise our kids and being that example and being that anchor and again, putting your career on paul’s so that I could pursue mine. I thank you. Thank you. I love you. Love you, love you. All right. We’re gonna we’re gonna we’re gonna move on real quick. My friends to the boys and girls in Raleigh north, okay Raleigh in low parks and recreation last part. And I have to see it and I have to say to the people of Raleigh because I lived all over Raleigh, my mother had to move like every year or two because the rent went up a dollar. She had to go. So I lived in Shavers Heights. I stayed in the Lane street area. I stayed in, I lived in Paulo hypes. Okay. I lived in uh where’s Stratford Park. I mean I lived all over Raleigh. So to Raleigh and my but my friends in the Raleigh north. Okay. Lines apart in low high school, I want to say thank you. Thank you for the competition. Thank you for all the all the fun and most importantly I appreciate you all for helping set my foundation. I thank you. You know, just as you guys see the bricks and this that support this gymnasium and Nate Mcmillan gymnasium. These bricks, that hole this building the structure together. Each one of you are breaking my foundation. Each one of you are breaking my foundation and I want to thank you for all you’ve done all the love and support over the years. Some I haven’t seen in a long time. But I want to thank you. I want you to keep your head up. Keep the faith always work to be the best version of you that you can be. Because you taught me to do that. Thank you. I dedicate this day to my mother Jeanette. She opened my eyes to faith. You know, I was looking up foundation and you know, two foundations that kind of caught my eye. You know, they say it’s a shallow foundation and then it’s a deep foundation. What I’ve just described to you is that shallow foundation like these walls that you see have found that deep foundation, which is my faith. This is the thing that my mother was trying to teach me a long, long time ago, but I found that deep foundation, Okay, there’s a foundation under these bricks that we see here, that’s a deeper and even stronger that this building sits in my faith. Is that deep foundation, that all of you, all of this, it sits on my belief in God. My trust in God, I’m a living example of what prayer God can do. Thank you. Yeah, more


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