John Ross was all smiles last year after the celebrity flag football game for his John Ross III Foundation at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
“We’re going to come back and do this again next year. We want this to be a tradition,” Ross correctly predicted.
However, the celebrities will be playing basketball for charity this year in the Long Beach City College Hall Of Champions gym starting at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, June 30. Ross and Long Beach legend Snoop Dogg will be coaching the two teams full of professional athletes and celebrities including Desean Jackson, Trey Songz, OT Genesis, Kennan Allen, TJ Houshmandzadeh, Jaquees and more.
Ross, 24, competed in the Snoop Youth Football League as a kid, and led Jordan High to the playoffs before attending the University of Washington. The receiver was drafted ninth overall by the Cincinnati Bengals after breaking the NFL Draft Combine 40-yard dash record.
“I didn’t want to wait, I wanted to get out and give back as quickly as I could,” Ross said last year of starting his foundation as a rookie. “I think it’s important to do that right away, it’s actually something I’ve thought about since I was a kid.”
Snoop Dogg might not be seen by most as a charitable figure, but for Ross and his generation of football players in Southern California, that’s what he is.
“When you see someone like that giving back to the community while you grow up, it makes an impression on you,” Ross said.