Bubba Almony has always wanted to prioritize the youth in his humanitarian work on the Shore.
And now, his time as a celebrity bodyguard, protecting and making connections with notable people has allowed him to combine both of his career paths into an event that Almony hopes can inspires the young people in the community he grew up in.
Bubba Almony’s Celebrity Basketball Game in Snow Hill will bring some famous faces to the Eastern Shore this weekend to play at the Worcester County Recreation Center. Some notable people coming to the Aug. 28 event include NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens, former Baltimore Ravens receiver Jacoby Jones, former NFL defensive back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, motivational speaker Demarjay Smith and multiple members of the Harlem Globetrotters.
Dr. Khalilah Camacho-Ali, the former wife of boxer Muhammed Ali, will also be attending alongside her son Muhammad Ali Jr.
Along with those national figures, local notables like professional boxer and Parkside High School alum Fernando Guerrero will play in the game, and former Delmar High School and Towson University football player Shane Leatherbury will be one of the coaches.
While the names and spectacle of the event may be what draws initial attention, Almony, who is putting on this event for the first time, has a clear goal with what he hopes this game accomplishes that goes beyond what takes place on the basketball court.
The focus of the event — which will have a pregame Fan Fest and keynote speakers prior to the basketball game, will be on an anti-bullying campaign, and proceeds from the event will go toward bullying prevention and mental health charities.
Almony said he hopes this event will become a positive staple in the community that he calls home.
“During the pandemic and COVID-19, and even outside of that, it’s hard of enough with these kids dealing with bullying and mental health, I thought to myself, what better way to have these kids looking forward to something?” Almony said in an interview. “And it is also the end of the summer so bringing celebrities that these kids look up to or who influence them.”
For Almony, focusing on bullying prevention and protecting the mental health of young people in the area has become a personal mission for him in his humanitarian work.
“We’re in the fight against bullying every day,” Almony said. “I was a national champion as an extreme martial artist, and I’ve been in the security and bodyguard industry for a decade, and there is no greater challenge than the fight against bullying.”
When Almony began planning this event out, he immediately began to go through his list of famous contacts to try and get people to come to Delmarva for the game.
“A lot of these people are either friends or they are clients, or mutual friends of people that are coming (to the game) or mutual friends of clients,” Almony said. “It’s such a blessing for this people, out of all places, to choose a small town and quiet community in Snow Hill and come out there. It’s powerful.”
And for Almony, he realizes just how much of an impact having these notable people come out to the area can have on the young people in the community.
“These kids, demographically, they’re not seeing events of this caliber or celebrity that they look up to,” Almony said. “That could have a lifetime of positive impact on these kids and hopefully that will help eradicate any bullying, negative, or thoughts of harming themselves. And also show them that these people are here not just to show up and have a good time, but most importantly that they care about you, they care about your future, your peace and your sanity.”
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Before the basketball game tips off in the afternoon, there will be a Fan Fest, followed by Almony, Camacho-Ali and Ocean City Citizen of the Year Al ‘Hondo’ Handy.
Putting together an event like this for the first time would be stressful for anyone, but for Almony, the hard work will be worth it if the basketball game is enjoyable, everyone has a good tim, and the message surrounding the event gets across to the people attending.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces because they’re having a good time, and the community coming together and understanding just how important it is that we plant the seed with our youth and watch it grow,” Almony said.
The event’s Fan Fest will start at noon on Aug. 28 outside of the Worcester County Recreation Center, with the celebrity basketball game tipping off inside at 5 p.m. To get general admission tickets for the basketball game, call 443-462-0696. Tickets cost $10 each.
Original posted at www.delmarvanow.com