10 years ago, Aundrey Ricks had a vision and it was to build a brand as well as a sports facility. 10 years later Mr. Ricks is living his dream, he owns his dream brand, Raw Impact as well as his dream sports facility.
His path hopes to inspire the youth as well as athletes. “Sometimes it’s hard as an athlete because all you know is sports,” said Mr. Ricks. “You’re in the weight room, you’re in the film room, you’re in the classroom, you’re at practice and you’re playing in games. You never really have a chance to experience life as a student until you’re career comes to an end, and then when you get out of school, you think, ‘OK, what’s next?’
“Many kids think that if they don’t make it in sports, their life is over, but I’m the perfect example that you can still do what you want to do.”
“My best advice to them is be resourceful,” Mr. Ricks added. “Get out and meet people within the community. Your network determines your net worth, and I think that’s the key to just about anything.
“I tell young college students that you have to get out of your comfort zone. Young people are used to being comfortable, but one thing I learned in college is that you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable.”
“If you can find something you enjoy doing, then you’ll never work a day in your life. You have to find what makes you happy and gets you excited to start the day.”
Two-time NBA champion Lindsey Hunter quoted, “I met Aundrey when he was a kid, literally,” Hunter said. “He came to one of my basketball camps, and you always look at the guards as far as who stands out and who has a bright future.
“We stayed connected as he got older, and whenever you see someone like Aundrey, who you’ve watched grow and who is doing great things with our youth, it’s exciting.”
Through his hard work in the city he came across Jalen Rose, a Detroit native and former University of Michigan and NBA standout basketball player.
Rose, who founded the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in northwest Detroit, said Ricks embodies the type of person he and fellow Detroiters hope for in the next generation of the city’s leaders.
“On a national level, anytime they talk about the most dangerous cities and violent cities and cities with the highest unemployment rate, yet has the most individuals of a certain demographic in and out of jail, it’s refreshing to have a young man like Dre focus on making a difference and work in a responsible profession,” Rose said. “He has to stay diligent to his goals and to his city and to himself and continue to influence others and continue to chase his goals and the things he wants to accomplish in his own life.”
Ricks has a novel’s worth of stories to tell about his life experiences and his journey that’s ongoing.