HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP/WNCN) — Kids across the Triad are heading back to school, and some students in Guilford County get to walk through the doors with a new backpack full of supplies thanks to an NBA player.
High Point is home for Anthony Gill, a power forward with the Washington Wizards. He came back to celebrate his school and the people there who he says gave him and his two sisters the best possible start in life.
“I love High Point so much and this place right here, Parkview Elementary helped build me, build my family to what we are today,” he said. “I am so blessed and I am so thankful to have great people around me that raised me all throughout my career and my life.”
He didn’t come back to visit empty-handed, either. Gill and his family worked with World Vision to help provide backpacks full of school supplies for every student at the school. To them, it was just one small way to boost morale and help out parents.
“I think about what I went through as a kid and what my mom and dad went through as parents when I was growing up. I knew it was a tough time, back to school. They had to get us clothes. They had to get us school supplies, backpacks, all that kind of stuff. And I knew it put a lot on them,” he said.
They held a back-to-school celebration full of memories… especially those of a family motivator known as Mr. Cory.
“Mr. Cory is like the backbone to Parkview Elementary School and this community. He is unbelievable,” Gill said. “Every day speaking into our lives, telling us that we can achieve great things. He was hard on us while we were here but, that toughness that he instilled in us then, got us to where we are today.”
Cory Dorsett has been at Parkview for 33 years and remembers Gill and his sisters well.
“They’re like family to me. This right here is like a family reunion for me,” Mr. Cory said.
This NBA star now serves as an example for all Parkview students, and Mr. Cory couldn’t be prouder.
“I am just so proud of him, you know. Him and his sister both. I’m just so proud to be able to see that he was one of my students,” he said. “To come from Parkview and make it big, you know? And so I’m hoping this, as far as the other kids, they’re like, ‘yeah, I went to Parkview and if he did it, I’m gonna do it too.'”
That’s exactly why Anthony Gill decided to come home.
“There’s a lot of special people here. and for me I know that starts with the youth. And this youth is going to go on to inspire many people in the future. So for me, I wanted to give back and be able to give them a head start in life.”
He wants to make this a yearly event for the students at Parkview Elementary School and hopes to find ways to keep encouraging them throughout the school year.
Chasing his own dreams, in 2016, Gill became an unrestricted free agent in the NBA. He inked a multi-year contract with the Washington Wizards in November 2020. Ever since, he has worn the #16 jersey for the Wizards as a forward.