On the basketball court, Stephon Marbury is a rising star for the New York Knicks. Off the court, Stephon's passion is helping others—especially children. Gayle talks with Stephon about the ways he's giving back to the community and about his new line of affordable basketball shoes.
For decades, some of the best professional basketball players have endorsed the highest-priced sneakers on the market. As a child, Stephon says he wanted the popular basketball shoes, but with six siblings, pricey shoes were not in the family budget. Now that he is a big name NBA player, Stephon has started his own shoe line called Starbury. The difference between his shoes and others endorsed by NBA players is that Starbury sneakers only cost about $14.90 a pair. "When I did this, it was more of just being one of the kids who grew up in poverty, grew up not being able to have, knowing that we have so many parents out there who just can't afford to spend $150 for sneakers," Stephon says. "Now, creating something like this, it gives everyone an opportunity to have something."
Although his shoes are less pricey than others, Stephon says the Starbury line is made from the same high-quality materials as the expensive basketball shoes that are currently on the market. "The shoes that are being putting out, they don't cost $120 to make," Stephon says. "We've devised a plan to come up with a way to put a $14 shoe out for people to afford and for people to purchase them." To prove that the shoes are high quality, Stephon says he wears them for all his games and practices. The shoes are only available at Steve & Barry's stores and come in a variety of colors and styles for both boys and girls.
Launching the Starbury sneakers is not the only way Stephon says he is giving back. He opened a barber shop in his hometown of Coney Island, New York, that gives hundreds of kids free haircuts every day. "I pay seven barbers and I put them on salary, and they basically just cut everyone's hair in my neighborhood," he says. Stephon says the free haircuts give kids self-esteem and local barbers jobs. While providing the service costs a lot of money, Stephon says he is going to continue the haircut program for the rest of his life.
"For me, doing it is just basically another way of giving back," he says. "To me, it is dear to my heart because I see everybody benefiting from it."