Jerome Williams, aka Junkyard Dog
“Junkyard Dog” ahead of his game Jerome Williams, aka the JYD (Junkyard Dog) was born on the 10th of May in Washington D.C. to very hard working parents who wanted nothing but the best for him and his brother. His parents relocated to the suburbs of Maryland in hopes of a better life…little did they know just how great the opportunity would be, or should I say how loud this dog’s bark would echo throughout the courts and communities of the nation. Always ready to step up his game, this mans heart is as big as his body. Is that possible you ask yourself? Former professional basketball player in the NBA, executive producer of his own car makeover reality TV show Make It Hot, and extremely active in the communities of NYC, Detroit, and D.C.…wait, what? That’s right Jerome is all about the kids! Speaking of, in the middle of our interview you hear on the other end of the line, this little voice in the background waiting patiently for her Daddy to be done so she could whisk him away. Jerome says in a whisper, “Daddy is almost finished, be right there.” This is a well rounded man I thought. It’s kind of funny to picture this giant man, that we’ve seen repeatedly rip it up on the court and have the energy of 10 men, speak so gently. Jerome knows about basketball, cars, and what is good for today’s youth. Not only a hero to his long time fans, but to the many lives has he touched through his charitable endeavors. Being a founder of Positive Shades of Black (PSB) and the JYD project, along with his brother, these endeavors are a part of his main focus since his retirement in August of 2005. Jerome was very concerned when he learned that there was a 35% drop out rate in the schools of Detroit, so he and his brother decided to take action by utilizing the NBA as an attention grabber for all the kids they’d try to assist. In 2005-06 he and his brother Johnnie journeyed through motivational assembly tours throughout NYC, encouraging the youth to stay in school, and that education is key. Jerome and I got a chance to briefly reflect on his basketball days…I had to ask, “Jerome where did you feel you got the most love from the fans?” he answered in a reminiscent tone….”had to be Canada….they would go wild!!!! The fans would go Bananas!! And I would always feed off of the energy that the crowd would exude, it was a natural high.” When I asked if there were any role models that he admired he mentioned so many talented individuals but the one that stood out the most in my mind was Magic Johnson. He spoke on how brave Magic was to come forth with such news and how much courage must have take to speak up about HIV. JYD confesses this made him very aware to be safe and use his judgment wisely as he was growing up. And now that Jerome is all grown up…the boy inside this man still likes his toys…isn’t that right, JYD? Just check out his cars, and did you get a glance of his reality show which aired in June on the MSG Network? Make It Hot is the name and in this case, basketball is not the game! It’s all about rides, who rides em’ and how they ride em’. JYD’s talents are relentless, so there you have it, and this guy slam dunks everything he gets in his hands on… on and off the court. Keep up the good work JYD! Written by: Tina Schiro
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