NBA Star and Tarheel, Brendan Haywood, serves as Communiversity Youth Program Ambassador

Former UNC basketball standout and recently retired NBA star Brendan Haywood, has signed on to play a major role in the Sonja Haynes Stone Center’s Communiversity Youth Program. Haywood, a lifelong public servant and supporter of youth programs and charitable causes nationwide, has agreed to serve as a Communiversity Ambassador in addition to his previous involvement as a cornerstone supporter. The Communiversity Youth Program (CYP), which serves local K-8th grade students, is one of the Center’s longest standing program and is currently in the midst of its 25 years of programming. Brendan’s gift and his active participation will help the program educate, inspire and empower Communiversity’s young scholars. In 2012, Haywood’s Foundation donated $10,000 to Communiversity. Since Brendan’s initial gift of $10,000 in 2012, the program has continued to grow and has established partnerships with local organizations and restaurants, such as Lantern, to provide unique learning experiences for scholars.

Brendan played for the Tarheels from 1997–2001 earning second team All-ACC and All-America honors his senior year. He also finished his college basketball career as the Atlantic Coast Conference's all-time leader in field goal percentage (63.7%) and is the Tar Heels' all-time leader in blocked shots (304). He was a first-round draft pick in 2001, and before retiring in 2015, won a championship ring as part of the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. Brendan now spends his days as a basketball analyst for CBS, ESPN, and NBATV. He was a broadcaster for CBS and his UNC Tar Heels at the 2016 Final Four/Championship games.

"This partnership has been a long time coming, and I'm glad to announce it. From working with the Center in the past I've realized that my vision for giving back to the community and state align perfectly with Dr. Stone's, and it's an honor to create a deeper connection. Together we'll do great things and make an even bigger impact," said Haywood.

Since its inception in 1992, CYP has connected the vision of Dr. Stone and the work and resources of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center with the UNC campus community and local and state communities through service-learning, social justice outreach, and arts and cultural programming. CYP fulfills an important part of the Stone Center’s mission of examining the role of culture in social change and community development by helping to improve student performance through education and practical experience. Working in cooperation with other University departments and the Chapel Hill Carrboro school system, CYP has established lasting relationships and built an important bridge between the University and these communities.