Byron Scott first trip to Centennial

Principal Jones said he is proud of Scott’s success and wanted his students to learn the realities of the sports business. “I wanted them to hear about how much hard work, sacrifice, and intelligence it takes to make it as a professional athlete,” he said.

“Centennial is grateful to have Byron here, and on a personal level, it means a lot to reconnect with one of my former students from my days as principal at MorningSide High School in Inglewood.”

Jones added, “I think that because Byron comes from a community much like Compton, it enables these kids to relate to his experiences. It helps them see the potential within themselves.”


“Mr. Jones was my principal in Inglewood. Today was a reunion for us, and it was great to see him again. He taught me so much when I was one of his students,” he noted.

“The biggest thing for me was to come here and educate these young people, especially the ones who are athletes trying to make it where I’ve been. I wanted to let them know what it takes to get there, what it means to be there, and what it takes to stay there.”

Scott said he credits his education with his professional success, and encouraged all students in attendance to find a subject they would like to major in.

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“I wanted to motivate them to fulfill their dreams, but also to let them know that they should never forget about their education. They need to know that the most important thing right now is to graduate high school, go to college, get a degree, and everything after that is gravy,” he said. “I went to Arizona State University, where I majored in telecommunications. It all applies to everything I do. I want Centennial’s students to understand that.”




On Tuesday, August 19, former Los Angeles Lakers player and current Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach Byron Scott returned to Centennial High School, Compton, Ca to address a crowded gymnasium of students , as well as 200 enrolled in the Centennial Male Academy.

Centennial High School principal Jesse Jones started the program seven years ago, and has fashioned the program to adopt President Obama’s “My Brothers Keepers Initiative”.

All  the Los Angeles base media  outlets, LA Times, NBC, Fox, CBS Time Warners Sports, and our flagship organization, Roger Alcocer , Channel 26 were there to capture the event.

An unsung hero of the event was Centennial High School principal Jesse Jones, who mentored Byron Scott when he attended Morningside High in Inglewood.  Jone’s male academy was on full display, and the young men hung on every word from Coach Scott.

The  Presidents “My Brothers Keepers ” has been the focus of Dakar Foundation’s work with Centennial High School, and this event validated the investment we’ve made thus far.  We look forward to future engagement with these young men in a series of workshops and meetups with tech and entertainment mentors.

Principal Jones invited Coach Scott to address the group as a kick-off for the class of ‘2014, and to pay homage the Presidents “My Brothers Keeper Initiative”.

In the spirit of the national program, Coach Scott extolled the virtues of a mentorship, hard work, as well as the Love of God as his lord and savior, family and self in that order.

This is Scott’s second trip to Centennial High School. September 30, 2013, Scott discussed growing up in Inglewood, and how he was mentored by Centennial’s Principal Jesse Jones, and realizing the value of an undergraduate degree.  Below are excerpts from last years event. Read More