The Snoop Youth Football League (SYFL), created by the rapper, will celebrate its 10 year anniversary next year. He told us he founded the organization because, “I was in a different football league about 10 years ago and I just felt like it wasn’t catering to the kids from the inner city, it wasn’t helping out the financial needs of the parents that were wanting their kids to play football and I don’t think they were focusing on certain things that needed to be focused on in the community that I came from, so I wanted to put something out there that was relevant to the inner city and also feasible to the parents.”
The SYFL is the largest youth football organization in South LA and currently has over 1500 kids in the league. The league teaches kids between the ages of 5 and 13, values such as team-work, discipline and self respect on and off the field, and the importance of a good education. “We push student athletes, but you have to be scholastically together out here, you got to have at least a 2.5 GPA to even be in my league, we’re pushing that so that when they get to high school they understand that school is important, more important than actually the athletic side of it because in case the athletics don’t work, you have to have something to fall back on,” Snoop Dogg told The Source exclusively.
It’s nice to know the youth of inner city LA have uncle Snoop to look up to. Snoop was also proud that three alums of his SYFL were recently picked in the 2014 NFL draft. Kam Jackson from Cal Berkley was drafted by the CB Indianapolis Colts. De’Anthony Thomas from Oregon, was drafted by the dRB Kansas City Chiefs and Greg Ducre from the University of Washington was drafted by the CB San Diego Chargers. These three players join fellow alum Ronnie Hillman who was the first SYFL player to join the NFL, and is now a running back for the Denver Broncos.
Snoop Dogg reflected, “Those are kids that I personally know … and just to see them go to the next level, it’s beautiful because they put in the hard work, and the time and the dedication and the effort.” Snoop then went on to say, “we can show you how to get to the river, but it’s your job to learn how to fish and take care of yours and then you become so in depth with being a student and an athlete there’s nothing left but to go to the NFL … because you pushed yourself and we were there to help you push yourself.” Snoop said he is determined in the next 10 years to have at least 100 kids go on to play for the NFL who played in his league.
The Snoop Youth Football League will start practicing in July and the league will be back in session this fall.
Jasmine Burch contributed reporting.