Former Orlando Magic player shares why he is focused on helping kids

Real Talk Real Solutions explores the importance of mentorship

In episode two of Real Talk Real Solutions former Orlando Magic standout, Bo Outlaw discusses his passion for mentoring with News 6 anchor Ginger Gadsden.

In the beginning of the conversation, Gadsden highlights a few details from his basketball career, including the fact that he played with the Orlando Magic from 1997-2001 and again from 2005-2007.

In total, he appeared in nearly a thousand games with the Magic. He was an impact player known for his tenacity and athleticism.

Bo Outlaw during his career with the Orlando Magic (Associated Press)

When Gadsden mentioned his stats Outlaw bowed his head as if he is blushing.

Gadsden went on to focus on his current role as the Community Ambassador for the Orlando Magic.

“I cannot think of a better person to hold that title right now,” Gadsden said.

“I guess I am the guy always trying to help and raise people up and let them know they are appreciated, so when someone tells me, I guess I’m uncomfortable,” Outlaw said.

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But, for the next 15 minutes Outlaw opened up talking about the people who helped shape him and why giving back is important to him.

“I wouldn’t be here without someone mentoring me,” he said,

Outlaw pointed out you don’t have to have an official title to be a mentor.

“You don’t have to step up and say I want to be a mentor, you just have to be in that kid’s life,” he said.

And when it came to coaches and men who influenced him, Outlaw said, “I wouldn’t say that’s my mentor, no, it was just someone I looked up to in the neighborhood, one of my coaches.”

While there are many organizations that help adults form mentor-mentee relationships Outlaw said it can be more organic than that.

“If you see this one kid every day and you speak to that kid you might be making that kid’s day, cause every day you might have something different, a different nugget for that kid... something you say might just trigger that kid and make a difference in their life and you don’t even know it.”

Orlando Magic players Bo Outlaw, second left, and Carlos Arroyo, read stories to Puerto Rican children during the opening of a reading and learning center at a primary school in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, July 19, 2006, as part of the NBA program "Basketball without Borders", which also includes a camp for young players of 12 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton) (Associated Press)

Though Outlaw said a lot of the people in his community helped to shape who he is today his Mother was by far the most influential.

“She was my Mom, my Dad, my provider, whatever I needed,” he said.

While he has achieved a great level of success Outlaw said he had humble beginnings.

He said his mom “didn’t come to a lot of my sporting events until later in life because she was trying to provide.” So, when people have said he doesn’t understand what it looks like to struggle he lets them know he gets it.

With Christmas around the corner, Outlaw said he plans to keep giving back and helping people this holiday season.

Learn more about the sports figures Outlaw looked up to, how he considered being a swimmer instead of a basketball player and what you need to keep in mind as you venture into becoming a mentor on the second episode of Real Talk Real Solutions.


About the Author:

Tiffany produces the 4:30 p.m. newscast and has been with News 6 since January 2019. She also produces Florida's Fourth Estate podcast. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in radio/TV. Tiffany has lived in Central Florida since 2004 and has covered the Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman trials and several hurricanes.