Shooting victim, NBA athlete wants kids to have a fighting chanc - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Shooting victim, NBA athlete wants kids to have a fighting chance

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Twenty year-old Brandon Ragnot is in college and has been an honors student since elementary school. But he has scars that are a daily reminder of a violent shooting that almost cost him his life. However, he is determined not to let this trauma slow him or anyone else down. After months in the hospital, he went to physical therapy to learn how to use his left hand, since the entire right side of his body was severely damaged.

"Psychologically, as long as I made it, as long as I know I’m someone, and mostly just too pray to god, thank you and everything, it's exciting for me and mostly every day I’m just thankful to be here" Brandon said.

'One block from Home' is a film Brandon made about his shooting. He was just 18 and still in high school when he decided to show the world that gun violence can happen to anyone anywhere. Even teens like him who avoid trouble, have a strong family foundation, and live in nice neighborhoods like Sheepshead bay. Brooklyn can end up becoming a victim of violence. The film won 7 awards, including one from the prestigious Tribeca film festival.

"I want people to understand that guns, they're not a toy. They can seriously hurt anybody. And people should be prepared for the outcome if they get a gun" Brandon said.

Brooklyn born NBA star Sebastian Telfair, who just signed a major new deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder, is spending the off season doing basketball camps for kids at Basketball City. The point guard from public housing in Coney Island donates his time so kids from his neighborhood can get scholarships. He's hands on and loves it.

"This is about meeting new friends, having a good time and enjoying basketball" Telfair said.

It's also about positive role models and giving the kids healthy activity. Telfair still has family members in the surfside mermaid housing development where he grew up, and visits often. He founded the 99 moves stop the violence project to help save lives and show youth at risk another way….

"I really don't have the answer about what is the cause of the violence….but there's not much for these kids to do. These kids that are in the streets killing people, doing harm to people...they don't have no dreams, no goals…" Telfair said.

Telfair could see this rundown basketball court from his bedroom window growing up. He says it saved him. Because the gang members would leave the kids who were into sports alone, now he's working with city officials to build a family park and basketball courts to give the children there a fighting chance. He commissioned an architect and told him exactly what he wanted...

"The lights is the huge thing…..and right here...a block from the beach" he told us,

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