Kansas City’s Black Community Honors Deceased Basketball Coach, Pastor Calvin Wainwright, 68

Residents in a Black community in Kansas City honored on Thursday former basketball coach and pastor Calvin Wainwright, 68. The well-loved community figure died on Monday, Nov. 1, due to ill health.

Details of the Community Tribute

According to a report by Fox4, Wainwright was a former basketball coach at Don Bosco Centers, King Middle School, and YMCA. The report bared that Wainwright began coaching teens and kids in the 1990s.

“Boys and girls, teenagers and young adults – it didn’t matter where they came from – wanted to be in his gyms. Many came from the inner city housing that Wainright’s programs served at the Don Bosco Centers and King Middle School – coming from Wayne Miner Court, Hilltop, Theron B. Watkins and others,” LINC Caring Communities posted on its website.

LINC (Local Investment Commission) is a Missouri-based “citizen-driven collaborative” non-profit that “localizes state of Missouri resources and programs to improve the lives of children and families in the Kansas City region.”

Wainwright worked at the institution as a coordinator. He was also a life mentor, community leader, and former pastor. 

In 2020, the Kansas City People’s Choice Awards gave him the Humanitarian Award.

Meanwhile, the Missouri Park and Rec Association feted him with the Outstanding Volunteer Coach accolade that same year. A devout Christian, Wainwright said, “I accept this right here in Jesus’ name,” when he received the award.

Lashun Wainwright, Pastor Calvin’s daughter, explained that Thursday’s community tribute was unsurprising. 

“He’s been working with kids ever since he was a teen,” Lashun said of her father. Accordingly, some young people see Pastor Calvin as a “father figure.”

For Kenneth Oliver, the pastor “just set the foundation of how to be a man. He just showed me there was another way out than what I was accustomed to.” Oliver told Fox4 that he lived with the former pastor for at least four years when he was still a teenager.

On the other hand, Mike Nash said that Pastor Calvin taught him to “be respectful, helped me grow into the man I am, helped me become the coach I am. Without Calvin there is no me.”

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‘It Runs in the Family’

It seems that the Wainwright family loves the sport of basketball since Pastor Calvin’s son, Ish Wainwright, currently suits up for the NBA team Phoenix Suns. Accordingly, the NBA player joined the rest of the community on Thursday to honor his dad.

During the gathering, Lashun delivered a speech in which she explained how her father “was something different to everyone” who attended the tribute.

“They call him unc, pops, daddy of the community, and that’s what his legacy is. His main focus was to stop the violence. KC is having a problem with it, and that was his main goal,” Lashun explained.

Those who wish to pay their respects to Pastor Calvin are encouraged to go to the Lawrence A. Jones&Sons Funeral Chapels in Kansas City on Nov. 11, from 6 p.m. onwards. The pastor’s funeral is on Nov. 12, 11 a.m., at the Memorial Church International

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