PITTSBURGH–“I’ve always been committed to coming back and helping not only kids in my community, but also where I play.”
Those words from Swin Cash, a McKeesport native, who was back in her hometown as the keynote speaker at the Pittsburgh NAACP’s 59th annual Human Rights Dinner.
The Olympian and WNBA star, born Swintayla Marie Cash, sometimes had the scores of people gathered in the ballroom of the Wyndham Grand Hotel Downtown laughing. She explained how sports were always in her really large family. Her mother had 12 siblings and she had 75 first cousins.
There was never a doubt, Cash proclaimed, that she was going to play ball.
“Sports was always there. When we were playing football in the backyard. And whether I thought I was going to be playing for the Steelers one day,” she said.
As chuckles spread across the room to the Pittsburgh Steelers comment, she acknowledged them.
“Yeah, I really did think that,” the 33 year old Cash proclaimed with a smile.
Everyone listened to Cash with rapt attention as she talked about something very close to her heart, her charity, Cash for Kids.
“It’s so important for us to give back to our youth and keeping them engaged in not only activities with sports, but also cultural activities,” she said. “We have kids if they want to go in to learn more about the sciences and math and learn more about education or about drama or about being a hair stylist. We’re pushing them to be whatever their calling is.”
Her WNBA home is the Windy City, where she plays for the Chicago Sky. However, Cash lives in Atlanta when she’s not playing.
The 6 foot one and 162 pound powerhouse used her hands for more than dunking a basketball. She’s written a book, “Humble Journey: More Precious Than Gold,” that chronicles her amazing journey playing basketball both professionally and in the Olympics.
With all that she has accomplished at such a young age, Cash explained just what keeps her going.
“What will your legacy be? Not as the NAACP. Not as Cash for Kids. Not as every other foundation that’s in this room. What will your individual legacy be? What will people say about you? That’s what motivates me,” she said.
Receiving the Judge Homer S. Brown award were Pittsburgh Steelers legend, Mel Blount, founder of the Mel Blount Youth