P.R.O.M.I.S.E.—Reaching the youth through basketball

JAKIM DONALDSON, center, leads the youth during his ninth annual P.R.O.M.I.S.E. Basketball Camp, held July 24-26 in Knoxville. (Photos by Courier Photographer J.L. Martello)

by Rob Taylor Jr., Courier Staff Writer

Jakim Donaldson stands tall. At 6-foot-8, you can’t miss him wherever he walks and talks in Pittsburgh, or overseas when he plays professional basketball.

Just a few weeks ago, the 35-year-old Donaldson was one of the New Pittsburgh Courier’s Fab 40 honorees. Add that to the many awards and achievements he’s acquired through his athletic acumen.

But nothing means more to him than the happiness he sees on the faces and the information he provides to Black youth at his annual summer basketball camp.

From July 24-26, the ninth annual P.R.O.M.I.S.E Basketball Camp was held A Giving Heart Community Center in Knoxville. And if you’re a kid, who doesn’t like playing basketball?

Thus, the kids come, shoot hoops, make new friends, and get to see and hear from a local basketball standout that is, indeed, a pro.

How many of the youth who participated in the three-day camp will turn into professional ballplayers? It doesn’t matter. What matters to Donaldson, and his father, Jay Donaldson, is that the kids are doing something valuable with their summer vacation and getting valuable information for their minds.

P.R.O.M.I.S.E. is a local, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping men, women and children who have lost loved ones to violence. P.R.O.M.I.S.E. stands for Protecting and Restoring the Order of Mankind with the Initiative of Serving Elders.

Jay Donaldson, the organization’s president, started the organization after he lost one of his sons, Jehru, to violence. In 2007, Jehru was shot and killed while waiting in a car on the North Side to take his girlfriend’s nephews to a Pirates game. He was 18.

In past years, P.R.O.M.I.S.E. has awarded students with $1,000 for college via the Jehru M. Donaldson Scholarship. P.R.O.M.I.S.E. has also held clean-up days, a book club, and a mentoring program.

Next summer, you can bet on hot weather, Fourth of July fireworks, and what will be the tenth annual Jakim Donaldson P.R.O.M.I.S.E. Basketball Camp.

The kids will, once again, be ready.


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