Spartanburg Day School
Spartanburg Day School
The power of sports can change the game for everyone.
When Adom Appiah’s 7th grade history teacher assigned his class a service project, she couldn’t have imagined just how far Adom would take it. Given his love of sports, Adom’s brainchild was a celebrity basketball game, which he called Ball4Good. The event drew 800 spectators, and the proceeds benefited the local Boys and Girls Club. Based on the project’s success, Adom started a nonprofit to sustain Ball4Good with the help of a grant from the Spartanburg County Foundation. He has since raised more than $100,000 to support 28 different youth-oriented organizations in his community and has attracted the likes of Zion Williamson of the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans, former NFL player Landon Cohen, retired WNBA all-star Andrea Stinson, and former Michigan State University basketball player Anthony Ianni to star in his games. “The greatest reward, however, has been the smiles I’ve been fortunate enough to reveal in my community and beyond,” says Adom.
Based on his experience with Ball4Good, Adom has written three books on the theme of motivating kids to change the world—something he has proven is entirely possible with hard work and a willingness to channel your passions for the greater good. Of course, the right support system is critical, too. Adom shares his successes with his parents, mentors, teachers, coaches, friends, and advisors who helped him along with way. “I have been able to walk through doors that may not have opened for me if my idea had not been accepted or validated. I hope others can learn from my experience and offer mentorship to youth.”
Through Ball4Good, Adom has already achieved more than many philanthropists accomplish in a lifetime. Still, he finds time to give even more to his community. He is the youngest serving board member of the Boys and Girls Club of the Upstate and volunteers and participates in as many as nine other school and community clubs and organizations. All of this accomplished while still excelling at his studies and consistently improving his speed on the track and his personal records in soccer and basketball. Adom has learned to use every minute to his advantage, often foregoing phone and social media time to study. As a semifinalist in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, he used his time on the bus to soccer games to read his dictionary. “The sacrifice paid off when I placed 41st out of 11 million.” For Adom, it’s all about discipline, perseverance, and passion for the sports and community he loves that drive him to be the best version of himself. “As I learned from my spelling days, I do not compete against others. Rather, I am my own competition.”
“Representation matters. We become what we see. Through my actions, I hope to influence the next generation.”
~ Adom Appiah ~