When homegrown basketball legend, God Shammgod, revisited Harlem last weekend, he did so with the primary intention of giving back to the community where he came of age at by positively influence the local youth. The native Harlemite returned to his old stomping grounds to launch the second edition of his “Legacy Shammgod” Puma sneakers, as well as accompanying clothing line.

On the Saturday morning of Aug. 21, he and his father, Blackseed God Shammgod, stopped off at Harlem’s Kennedy Center (34 W.134th St.) and shared some very encouraging words with several dozen youths enrolled in their “Team Shammgod” basketball program. For many of them, it was their first time ever meeting an elite baller who’s already ascended the high levels they aspire to reach one day.

“I wanted to come back to my community and show a positive reflection of themselves within, by showing that somebody that came from the same place they’re from, can make a difference and make it out of New York,” God Shammgod explains.

He huddled with the youths on the basketball court encouraging them to be the best they can be. Then they conducted some drills, running, passing & shooting the basketball for an hour or so prior to his staff handing out free products, which included his sneakers, Shammgod Dime jackets and pants, Shammgod tee-shirts, and the Shammgod Flare Shorts.

“I was proud that he chose to do something in his community because there’s not a lot of programs that are Black-ran anymore for the kids to go to and have some fun,” the elder Shammgod noted. “This is something he’s been longing to do, and this was the right time to get it done.”

Born in Brooklyn, April 29 1976, raised in Harlem, he was recruited by Providence College in 1995 after graduating from La Salle Academy, all the while honing his skills at Harem’s famed Rucker Park, and Colonel Charles Young Playground. The six-foot point guard soon became recognized for his deft dribbling and signature one-handed “Cross Ova to God”, a.k.a. “The Shammgod.”

Drafted by the NBA’s Washington Wizards in 1997, his sick ball-handling skills and innovative move revolutionized how players handled the peel, impacting many globally – from aspiring amateurs on blacktops throughout urban America’s concrete jungles, onto all-stars on the hardwood floors – causing him to be an immediate game changer. He has served as the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks’ player developmental coach since 2016.

Shammgod advised youths to stay out of trouble and acquire an education; prior to doing an in-store presentation at Harlem’s Jimmy Jazz (239 W.125th St.), where dozens of fans took notice.

“Team Shammgod came up here to talk to the kids about school, life, basketball, and how to become better human being period, so they can be somebody positive,” God Shammgod explained. “I want to give back to my community just as it was done for me years earlier. If I can change one life, then I can potentially save millions.”