LAPLACE – Benjamin Watson, current tight end for the New Orleans Saints, and James Donaldson III, who played in the NBA for 20 years, were the guest speakers at the first River Parishes Fellowship of Christian Athletes All-Star Breakfast recently held in LaPlace.
St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom and the St. John Parish Council co-sponsored the breakfast with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Held in conjunction with the All-Star NBA weekend being held in New Orleans, the breakfast was attended by leaders in local business and government, as well as students from East St. John High School, West St. John High School and Riverside Academy.
Watson spoke about his heavy participation in FCA growing up and how FCA helped to shape his character and beliefs as an adult.
Watson said in high school he had dreams of being a football player and a missionary when he grew up. He challenged the students in the crowd to make the most of their high school experience.
“High school is the time to decide who you’re going to be,” said Watson. “Are you going to stand out or be part of the crowd?”
“The earlier you make those decisions, the easier it is later on,” Watson added.
Watson spoke about his time playing football in college and later getting drafted into the NFL. Watson ended his talk by saying the most important thing in life is serving Christ and keeping an eternal perspective.
“Sometimes I’m mean, I’m jealous, I’m hateful…but I’m also forgiven,” said Watson.
After breakfast was served, Donaldson encouraged students to not only attend, but to graduate from college. He said the world is very competitive, and that students should be ready to learn all they can.
“Allow yourself to think outside of the box and dream about what is possible,” Donaldson said. “Life should be a journey of learning something new every single day.”
Ken Trahan, a New Orleans sports and media figure, served as master of ceremonies. After an opening prayer by Father Garrett O’Brien, St. John Parish Superintendent Kevin George led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Jordan Dorsey sang the National Anthem before a welcome by St. John Parish President Natalie Robottom.
Cajun Grill catered the event, and New Orleans Chapter Director Dr. Benny Jones gave an FCA update.
Robottom said she hopes the event will become a yearly tradition in St. John Parish.
“We are grateful for the partnership between the parish, schools and the FCA as we work to develop our local youth into successful young adults,” said Robottom. “The message of hard work, education and a strong faith was well-received by the group, and it will go a long way in growing our community.”