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Public Papers - - December

Remarks at a Points of Light Recognition Ceremony for the San Antonio Spurs Drug-Free Youth Basketball League in San Antonio


Let me thank David, David Robinson, for the introduction, what he does for you kids, what these other guys do for you guys; Mayor Nelson Wolf; and it's great to see all of you here. Gregg Popovich and Frank Martin, thanks for the great work you do for the league. I'm also glad to see some of the Spurs here and, of course, an old friend of mine, owner Red McCombs, and players. Thanks for letting Barbara and me take part in all of this.

I'm glad to see so many of the parents here today because the future of every community depends on the strong families. And that was the firm belief of our Founding Fathers, and it's just as true today.

And as for the San Antonio Spurs, well, I've often said that from now on in America, any definition of a successful life must include serving others. And we call helping others being one of a Thousand Points of Light. And it's great to see athletes who succeed off the court as well as on and are willing to help the young people in this country. They set a great example for all of us, and thank you, guys.

You know, many sports celebrities have volunteered their time and effort in the fight against drugs. But think of what could be accomplished if every basketball, baseball, football, soccer, hockey team, from major league to college, followed your example and became Points of Light in this struggle. And then, from San Antonio to Minneapolis, San Diego to Miami, a network of athletes would show our kids there is an alternative to drugs and crime. And think of what would be accomplished if leaders of every institution here committed themselves to helping the Spurs and other organizations solve social problems through voluntary service. San Antonio, the whole city, would become a community of light, something your Mayor over here is working for every single day.

And you kids are learning something more than just how to make a layup, although I saw some real pros out there doing that, put on a full-court press. You're learning about what really makes adults click, responsibility, conscience, and goals. And you're helping this wonderful community become a decent, drug-free, safe place to live. And by staying drug-free, and I just heard a group of these kids take the pledge in there, staying drug-free, you're helping the country set up a chance for everybody keeping away from the deadly grip of drugs.

We're seeing results. This year we've dramatically exceeded many of the goals that we'd hoped to reach, particularly in the area affecting kids like you. The national goal was to reduce casual drug use by 30 percent. It's actually fallen 63 percent. And that's something that we've all done together and something that everyone here, the adults who are working with these kids, should be particularly proud of.

And so, I came here today to meet with Latin American leaders for coordinating our nations' efforts to combat drugs. We are going to win that fight. We had a very good meeting with all these Presidents, who were thrilled to be in San Antonio.

We want to make life better for the kids in this country. And as a Nation, we have to celebrate the success stories. Showing the good that's being done inspires others to get out there and do good as well. And so, we're here to honor something special, your determination and your spirit. And you kids, and the 2,300 like you across this city, are learning very important lessons here: Staying drug-free can help you make your dreams come true.

Today, in order to highlight for others the good work that you are doing here, all of you, young and old, I recognize the San Antonio Spurs Drug-Free Youth Basketball League as our Nation's 705th daily Point of Light. You see, you prove that no community has to accept things as they are. Drugs and other problems can be driven from our backyards if leaders in every community are like these guys, if leaders in every community care enough to urge people to become Points of Light.

So congratulations to all of you who show us that it's better to build children than repair adults. Keep making those hoops against all odds. And may God bless each and every one of you.

And now I would like to ask Pop, Gregg Popovich, to come up here and let me present him with the symbol honoring his efforts, your efforts, the team's efforts as the 705th daily Point of Light for our whole country. You're going to set an example for many others in cities all across America.


Note: The President spoke at 5:02 p.m. at the West End Community Center. In his remarks, he referred to center David Robinson and assistant coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs and Frank Martin, director of the youth basketball league.

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