A group of coaches and current professional football players are trading in their football pads, to hit the links to help other aspiring young teenagers achieve their dreams at the next level on the football field.
For Harper Woods High School football coach and educator, Rod Oden, he is excited to be able to organize his first annual golf tournament with the help of former players he has coached, other coaches, and with the generous support of some metro Detroit businesses.
The fundraiser will be taking place on July 9 at the Hilltop Golf Course 47000 Powell Road in Plymouth, MI.
The upcoming golf tournament has been a year in the making as Oden and his former players began brainstorming during a get together last summer. The event will allow participants an opportunity to enjoy a round of golf and rub shoulders with some of Coach Oden’s prized pupils.
The players participating in the fundraiser include Super Bowl Champion Brandon Graham of the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys rookie Chauncey Golston, defensive back Desmond King II with the Houston Texans, Saskatchewan Roughriders Tony Lippett and the Seattle Seahawks Cedrick Lattimore.
“These are guys that I have had a relationship with since they were thirteen and fourteen years old,” Oden said. “Those seeds were planted early in their lives, to want to help others in the community. I am proud of them, as they all have made a concerted effort to come back and want to help out the next generation.”
Oden’s organization the O.D.E.N. Group is a not for profit that is focused on improving the lives of inner city youth that are touched by the game of football.
Oden’s objective and founding principle are based on a commitment to building and supporting a stronger society and helping individual boys and girls — athletes and non-athletes alike — and entire school communities learn about the importance of developing character and healthy relationships through social and emotional learning.
“It is important to teach transferable life skills, along with being responsible and accountable with their actions,” Oden said. “We are encouraging our student athletes to have a spirit of uplift and want to help the next generation.”
Oden said the main objective of the upcoming golf tournament is to offset the cost and expenses of the annual bus tour that he organizes for student athletes. The tour allows the promising prospects an opportunity to visit other university campuses and attend football camps out of state, which will impact the next step in their young adult lives.
“The proceeds that are raised will pay for next year’s bus tour. This will allow the guys the ability to travel for about ten days and visit approximately sixteen different colleges and universities. The players will be able to work out for college coaches and attend some one day football camps to showcase their skills,” Oden said.
For all of the details on the O.D.E.N. Group’s First Annual golf tournament and fundraiser, visit https://the-oden-group.perfectgolfevent.com.