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Auburn Legend Lends A Hand To Alabama Football

Always looking for a competitive edge, Nick Saban leaves no stone unturned when finding ways to help his team succeed. This year, he brought Auburn basketball star Charles Barkley in to do just that.

As reported by Saturday Down South, Barkley visited Alabama’s Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility Tuesday to give an inspirational speech to the Crimson Tide.

Beloved by Auburn fans, Charles is an Alabama native. Born in Mobile, he made his presence on the court known from an early age. In 1981 he accepted a scholarship at Auburn and quickly made a name for himself. He was SEC Player of the Year in 1984, and he still holds the Auburn record for career field goal percentage with 62.6%.

From 1984-2000 he was an NBA star, being named league MVP once and making 11 NBA All-Star appearances.

If you know anything about the rivalry that exists between Auburn and Alabama, then it might come as a shock that Barkley would do anything to help the Tide, no matter how small. And normally that might be true, except for the relationship he has built with coach Saban.

Outspoken about the struggles young African American men face, Charles has used his fame to help make an impact throughout the state.

In a conversation he had with Saban last year, Barkley said,

“As a black man, I really respect when you give other black men an opportunity after they’ve screwed up. Because I always tell people, ‘Everybody is an idiot when they’re 18. Young Kids are going to make mistakes.’ But as a black man, I just want to say thank you for giving these young black guys an opportunity. I know you have taken some heat, and I thought it was unfair because we don’t need to just throw kids away when they do something stupid.”

While the transcript of the Barkley’s speech has not been released, you can bet that it centered around hard work and overcoming adversity.

For most, it’s either Alabama or Auburn, and those two things don’t mix in Bama’. But, even if for a short time, it’s great to see Alabama leaders crossing into enemy territory to help young men grow. Because at the end of the day, lives are bigger than the games we play.

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