Keith Appling grew up in the city of Detroit, where the crime rate is 2,057 per 100,000, and the second-highest in the nation after St. Louis. Detroit has a poverty rate nearly three times higher than the national average—roughly 35%, child poverty rate is even higher, at more than 50%. Sports played a huge role in Keith’s life. It allowed him to travel the world to get free education and chase his dream of becoming an NBA player. In September 2014, he signed with the LA Lakers where he was able to lace up the shoes with one of the all-time greats Kobe Bryant. Keith was ecstatic by Kobe’s knowledge and work ethic. During a Lakers practice in 2014, when Keith was trying to transition from the college game to the NBA game Kobe told Keith, “Stay poise and let things unfold.” The moments Keith spent with Kobe was monumental to Keith’s life and career.
After battling some off the court issues Keith knows how important it is to be a positive role model for inner-city youth. Keith’s goal is to help as many kids as possible to reach their dreams. He truly believes his life story will motivate others and keep them from making some of the same mistakes.