Nakobe Dean returns to give back again

For years, Horn Lake’s Nakobe Dean has been a giving person. Directed by his parents, the Deans took their giving out to the community each holiday season, for instance.  

“Some people had 12 Days of Christmas. Well my mama had us doing 12 Days of Service,” Dean said Friday afternoon. “I love giving back to my community.”

Nakobe continued to give as he moved into high school and on to college at the University of George, but the recipients may not have been as appreciative. 

Giving out hits and tackles in regularity as a member of the 2018 Horn Lake state champion Eagles and today with the number one ranked Georgia Bulldogs, Nakobe Dean has become one of the top college linebackers in the country and people are starting to talk about him as a future NFL draft pick.

Friday, Dean was back in his hometown helping to give again and be recognized for what he does off the football field.  

The national insurance company Allstate, in cooperation with the American Football Coaches Association, each year selects 22 college football players to its Allstate Good Works Team, selected for their community service as well as recognizing their outstanding football play.  The Georgia junior linebacker was chosen this year as a member of that team. 

With the selection, Allstate donates $10,000 to a nonprofit of the player’s choice. Dean has selected the Hope Center Community Center of Horn Lake as the recipient of the Allstate donation in his name.  

According to his bio on the Good Works Team website, Dean has continued his strong charitable and community service as he has moved from Horn Lake to Athens, Georgia. 

“Junior linebacker Nakobe Dean helped to develop Dawgs for Pups, the Georgia football program’s effort to directly affect the lives of local youth in Athens County. In its first eight months, the program raised more than $200,000 to help youth in the community. Dean spearheaded a drive that raised about $100,000 for Wi-Fi hotspots for local children. With remote schooling, he secured more than 27,000 pounds of food donations for area children via the Northeast Georgia Food Bank and assisted a multi-team effort that collected 437 new or gently used coats for local youth with the assistance of the Boys & Girls Club of Athens. Dean also participated in hand-painting ceramic bowls that were used to raise funds to feed hungry children, families and seniors throughout northeast Georgia, as well as reading stories at the local elementary school. After football practice, Dean visits with individuals with developmental disabilities through his work with Extra Special People.”

The Hope Center, a community center for youngsters in Horn Lake and Southaven areas, was particularly hard hit when the COVID-19 pandemic began in March of last year with much of its activities being halted. Co-founder and Director Stacey Dodd said the infusion of money from Allstate and Nakobe Dean will aid in restarting its plan to be a positive outreach in the community.  

“This is going to be a really great asset for us as far as rebounding from COVID-19, relaunching in the Southaven and the Horn Lake school system,” Dodd said. “This money will be funding the weekend mentor program as a Memphis Grizzlies affiliate. We will be launching our weekend events where we are doing group mentoring.” 

Dodd added Dean’s dedication to his hometown is greatly appreciated.  

“He grew up here when the Hope Center first launched about six years ago. For him to come back and support this community is beyond words.”

Georgia linebacker and former Horn Lake football star Nakobe Dean is joined by (from left) Stacey Dodd and Kenneth McKinney Sr. of the Hope Center Community Center. (Bob Bakken/DeSoto County News)

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