Return to Guam 2020!
On the heels of his third season in the NFL, Zach Banner returned to Guam this February to continue his mission of empowering children across the island through football and mentorship.
Friend and former teammate Larry Olumide (Cleveland Browns DT) joined Banner for the second time, helping to host a children’s football camp, coaches’ clinic and first annual foundation fundraiser.
“Returning to Guam as regularly as possible is incredibly important to me,” Banner said of his third outreach trip to the island. “It’s a time where I get to focus on supporting kids just like me and getting back to my roots. I learn more each time I visit, about this island, our people and myself.”
Banner, Olumide and B3 Foundation staff led a half-day youth football camp on February 29 at Father Duenas High School. Girls and boys from across the island showed up eager to participate in drills and fitness exercises as well as learn from two NFL stars. At the conclusion of the camp, participants lined up to get autographs and take pictures with their larger-than-life heroes.
Later in the week, Banner and Olumide led an evening coaches clinic centered on a practical Q&A with coaches from across the island seeking advice on drills, positioning and season preparations for their teams. Banner shared his vision for the growth of youth football on the island and committed to supporting leagues and coaches for men and women’s football alike. For the first time ever, Banner shared his vision for bringing a one-of-a-kind sports complex to Guam in the coming years.
Among the best parts of the week were Banner’s school visits to Guam’s iLearn Academy and Father Duenas High School. The offensive tackle first visited the elementary school, welcomed into their auditorium to the sounds of screams and cheers from hundreds of smiling faces all waving custom “Welcome Zach Banner” signs. Each classroom decorated beautiful signs to welcome the football players, and were eager to listen as Zach shared a message on the importance of character, dedication to schoolwork and dreaming big. Students received wristbands, t-shirts and several classes will be selected for this fall’s B3 Foundation Backpack Giveaway Program.
“No one will remember you for your sports or the materialistic things, they will always remember you for your character,” shared Banner. “My mom was right when she told me that and it’s been right all my life.”
Next, Banner visited F.D. High School to share with the all-boys student body about what it takes to succeed in life. His message was one of perseverance, personal accountability and character. At the conclusion of Banner’s talk, the students participated in an engaged Q&A session with the Steelers tackle that lasted for over a half hour.
Finally, Banner hosted the B3 Foundation’s First Annual Music Night and Silent Auction toward the end of the week. Community members were welcomed to join Banner and Olumide at Papa’s Restaurant for live music from Cecilio & Kompany and a silent auction benefitting ongoing programming on Guam. Among items available at the auction were signed jersey from current Steelers stars, signed cleats and other Steelers memorabilia. Thanks to the generosity of our community on Guam, the B3 Foundation raised over $6000, funds that will go toward annual backpack drives, mentorship programs, football camps, and more for children on Guam.
“I am so proud of what our foundation was able to accomplish this week, but even more proud of this community that recognizes our ongoing work here,” Banner shared. “We really feel that this is just the beginning of what we plan to do here on Guam and are so excited to continue to grow opportunities for boys and girls across the island. Thank you, Guam!”