NextUp Live

Rashaan Hornsby from the Centerville Simbas Discusses Leadership

By Melissa Wickes
October 12, 2021
2 min

Welcome to the latest episode of NextUp Live!

This new interview series from LeagueApps and our NextUp community, features inspiring stories from people, news, and happenings around the youth sports industry.

Today, I am excited to talk with Rashaan Hornsby, a coach, a business owner, and the president of Camden’s Centerville Simbas youth sports program in New Jersey.

(Click here if you can’t play the video above.)

Youth Sports, Leadership, Discipline, and Camaraderie

The very first question I asked Rashaan, as a successful business leader, entrepreneur, community advocate, and coach, what role sports played in shaping his personal and professional development. He started right off the bat talking about how playing youth sports with the Centerville Simbas started it all.

Playing youth sports taught me how to be a leader. I started playing for the Centerville Simbas at age eight and it taught me leadership, discipline, camaraderie. It’s still giving to me today as a man.

He, of course, is the president of the Centerville Simbas today, but more than that, he works with parent coaches who do more than coach sports.

The Simbas were started to get kids off the street, to learn how to play a sport, and to learn camaraderie and sportsmanship. If you were a Simba, you were brethren. There weren’t sponsors or funding. In many cases, the coaches paid for things out of their pockets and drove kids around in their cars. We’ve always wanted to keep kids safe while giving back. Kids just need an opportunity and we give them that. We’ve birthed adults who give back to their communities.

There recently was an announcement about new efforts in Camden to bring disparate youth sports leagues under the same umbrella to help them share core resources to operate programs. 

Sports are always second for the Simbas. We place education and being a good human first. Youth sports has become a major business and the fees have become astronomical. If your kid is not talented or you can’t afford them the opportunity to play, they fall behind. We don’t turn anyone away for lack of payment and we always take kids in.

We talked about what’s next up for the Simbas and the work they’re doing for kids in Camden. 

We want the Simbas to be here another 50 years. Hopefully my son or my nephew or one of the kids we coached will want to continue building this organization long after I’m gone.

Learn More About the Centerville Simbas

You can learn more about the Centerville Simbas by visiting their website. If you’re interested in donating, visit their Facebook page.

And be sure to subscribe to the LeaugeApps YouTube channel, where you will see a new episode of NextUp Live every week.