PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "Growing up, I think I realized that basketball was just something that kept me out of trouble," said Bria Young. "It introduced me to a lot of friends that I checked for a very long time."
Young, a West Philadelphia native, took her talents through college and soared onto the Harlem Globetrotters. She became the 14th female to play with the world-traveling exhibition team from 2016 to 2019.
But her heart always stayed close to home.
"I was able to travel all around the world, travel to 25 countries," she said. "And now I'm back here trying to just give back to children, kids who grew up in the same neighborhood that I grew up in."
Young created her non-profit, Bria Young Basketball Incorporated, in 2017. Since then, she has hosted workouts and training opportunities.
Today, she kicked off her "Safe Summer" initiative with a free workout session at Gustine Rec Center designed to connect kids with seasonal resources. For example, families received literature about summer camps and the WorkReady Summer program for ages 12-24.
"There's so much more for them out there," said Young. "They don't have to become victims to the streets."
10-year-old Melanie Budd already has her sights set on a bright future.
"When I grow up, I want to be a WNBA player because it's competitive, it's easy to play and you have fun and enjoy it," said Budd. "It's hard at first and then you get used to it and you practice to get better."
Bria Young, now a coach at New Foundations Charter School, hopes to encourage and motivate all kids, especially other female athletes.
"If they see that I can do it, then they know that they can also do it," she said.
To learn more about opportunities with Bria Young Basketball Inc., visit their website.