Summer Celebration: Trae Young Family Foundation gives back to Pampa Community

‘Pampa is the root of where we’re from’
Published: Jul. 19, 2023 at 2:50 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2023 at 7:49 PM CDT
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PAMPA, Texas (KFDA) - The Trae Young Family Foundation has had a big impact on the city and parks in Pampa.

Before the world knew one of basketball’s biggest stars, Trae Young, there was his dad, Rayford Young, and his grandfather.

Both men are from Pampa and were star Harvesters.

One year after Trae Young was drafted 5th overall by the Dallas Mavericks, the Trae Young Family Foundation was born.

“The overall goal for the foundation is just to give back to not only adolescence, but also adults,” said Rayford Young, the founder of the Trae Young Family Foundation. “What I mean by giving back is to provide opportunities to get away from those everyday struggles with mental health. And one way we do that is to provide basketball courts across the country.”

In 2022, the foundation partnered with the city of Pampa to upgrade two of the city courts.

The foundation donated new courts, basketball goals and new fencing to the Prairie Village Park and the court at Marcus Sanders Park.

“We’ve done a number of courts in bigger cities and bigger cities aren’t the only place where people have mental health issues,” said Young. “So with that being said, Pampa was the perfect place to do that. You know a small town where I’m from and where this all began with our family.”

He says in a way, Pampa is where the story of the Trae Young Family Foundation began.

“Pampa is always going to be special because that’s that’s where I was born. That’s where my dad was born. You know, the majority of my family is from there. It’s always going to be a place where we go back to what we call home,” said Young. “If you ever sit down and talk to Trae, he’ll tell you that he loves going back to Pampa and just seeing his uncles and visiting his grandfathers graveside and just going back to those memories of whenever he was a kid.”

Young says the donation to the City of Pampa was important to the entire family.

“My daughters play volleyball and both my boys play basketball, so for us to be able to give back in that way where we can donate basketball courts is amazing,” Young said. ”I’m so glad we were able to do it and paint our foundation name on the court. I haven’t been back but I’ve heard a lot of great things like, the courts are always full, kids are always playing on the courts and that’s a good feel.”

The Marcus Sanders Park is dedicated to Trae’s grandfather and includes multiple jersey numbers that are special to the young family.

Rayford Young was able to follow in his father’s basketball footsteps and earned himself a spot in the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame.

“It was really surprising but it was also really cool to see because I was in a room with a lot of great athletes and a lot of great former athletes,” said Young. “One lady that I really admired was Marsha sharp. She was the women’s basketball coach at Texas Tech when I was a freshman. She was one of the first people I met other than coach Dickey, so be in the room with her where she was getting inducted and some of the other people that were there was was really special.”

Overall, Young says Pampa will always be the root of where their family is from.

“Pampa is a place that I’m going to be grateful and always proud to call home,” said Young.