MAHONE: Douglas trying to make a difference

Derrick Mahone

Derrick Mahone

There could be other projects that Harry Douglas could be doing.

For a man that seems to have everything, he felts comfortable giving back to the community that has meant so much to him and his family.

Douglas could be out fishing or playing several rounds of golf, but that is not what makes him happy.

The father of an NFL wide receiver and NBA guard can usually be found coaching. He coaches the Douglas Brothers Elite AAU basketball team that is composed of several players from the Southern Crescent area.

As much as Douglas enjoyed helping his son — Harry reached the NFL and another son, Toney, realized his dream of playing in the NBA — the elder Douglas still gets enjoyment out of making a difference in other children’s lives.

“You have to give back to the community,” the elder Douglas said. “I think if more people get involved, it would make a difference in our community.”

There need to be more people that share Harry Douglas’ philosophy. He spends his time working with the youth in not only helping them become better athletes, but more importantly better young men.

He brings that old school-type coaching principles.

“I get on them when they are work,” he says. “That’s just me. If they are willing to work hard, I’m willing to help.”

Douglas says they pour about $25,000-$30,000 annually into their AAU program. There is a trip planned to Houston where Toney plays for the NBA Rockets to play in a tournament.

And the Douglas brothers are just as much a part of the program as their dad. Not only do they lend the financial support, but they are certified coaches.

“They want to be around to help these kids,” the elder Douglas said. “They are hands-on.”

That makes a difference to the younger players.

They get a first-hand look at what has made the Douglas brothers, former standouts at Jonesboro High, successful. Harry and Toney are the sixth pair of brothers to play in the NFL and NBA, respectively.

The brothers are respected throughout the community for their rise from high school standouts to professional athletes. Harry Douglas, the father, has garnered a lot of praise for the way he has raised his sons.

The elder Douglas brings a wealth of knowledge about the game and life. And he is willing to share it with those involved in his program.

But the Douglas’ generosity stretches beyond the athletic arena. During the Christmas season, the family has one of the biggest charity give-aways to help the less fortunate.

“Yes, I could be doing other things, but this is our mission,” the elder Douglas said.

And the community is definitely grateful for their kindness.

Derrick Mahone is the sports editor of the Clayton News Daily/Henry Daily Herald newspapers. He can be reached at dmahone@news-daily.com.