When Kam Chancellor first hosted a community even in his hometown of Norfolk, Virginia, back in 2011, "Bam Bam's Spring Jam" was a humble affair being put on by a player who had just finished up his rookie season in the NFL.
Five years later, the Spring Jam is bigger than ever, having moved to Norfolk's Town Point Park, a park the city uses for big festival events, but the free cookout at the center of Chancellor's weekend event is still all about bringing the community together.
"It's important for our community, which is small, to see that is possible to make it out, to have a dream and actually live your dream," Chancellor said. "I want to come back and pay it forward to the kids. It's also important because I want my neighborhood to be a family. I want us to be together, not divided. I want to stop bullying, all the issues we have. I want everyone to be closer to one another. It's a unity thing, we all need each other."
What started out small five years ago is now a big, weekend-long event, including a cocktail reception and silent auction on Friday night, the cookout Saturday, a "Bowling with the Stars" event featuring Chancellor, Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch, Larry Fitzgerald and others, and a celebrity basketball game that will include the likes of Chancellor, Sherman, Brandon Browner, Tyler Lockett, Marcus Burley, Fitzgerald, Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu, retired NFL quarterback Michael Vick and soon-to-be Hall of Fame NBA star Allen Iverson. Iverson will only be coaching, however, because as Chancellor notes, "I don't think he wanted to embarrass anybody, so he'll just coach and chill, and we'll get some wisdom from him."
While tickets will be limited for the basketball game, which was moved from Chancellor's high school, Maury High School, to Old Dominion University's Ted Constant Center in order to accommodate more fans, Chancellor will strive to always make his cookout an event for anyone who wants to attend.
"Nobody's excluded, everybody from the area is invited," Chancellor said, noting fans from outside the Norfolk area have been coming in recent years as well, helping prompt the move to a bigger venue. "… The city's behind us now. They're supporting the cause and the foundation, allowing us to do a lot more things. Everything's just elevating."
Kam Chancellor and his Kam Cares Foundation hosted a celebrity basketball game in conjunction with the foundation's Spring Jam.