Washington, D.C. –
Monumental Sports & Entertainment founder and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis presented a $10,000 check to Anacostia High School senior James Drummond during the Wizards game on March 17. This is the third-consecutive year that Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) Foundation awarded a $10,000 scholarship to a D.C. boys’ basketball student-athlete through the District of Columbia College Access Program (DC-CAP). Recipients must attend D.C. public or public charter schools to be eligible for the scholarship.
MSE Foundation is the official charity of the NBA’s Washington Wizards, WNBA’s Washington Mystics, NHL’s Washington Capitals and AFL’s Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade and focuses on five pillars including youth basketball and education and scholarship.
“MSE Foundation and the Wizards are proud to provide this scholarship to James, who served as the basketball captain at Anacostia High School,” said Elizabeth Pace, executive director of the Foundation. “We are excited to help James meet his goal of attending college and wish him all the best as he heads off to North Carolina A&T this fall.”
Candidates were required to write an essay on what inspired them to play basketball, what lessons they learned from the sport and how those lessons will help them throughout college and as they begin their career in the workforce. Here are some highlights from James’s essay:
James Drummond – Boys’ Basketball
It wasn’t an easy lesson but basketball helped James Drummond learn humility. Certain aspects of basketball focus on one-on-one matchups, individuals versus individuals, but it was the team facet that partially derailed his high school career. It wasn’t until his playing time dwindled and frustration mounted that James decided to fully commit to being a team player.
“Basketball is not an individual sport and in order to win you must work as a team,” Drummond wrote in his application essay. “One of the lessons I learned in my basketball experience is to never think that I know more than the one who’s teaching me.”
This epiphany had effects that resonated on the court and extended off the court. He became more active socially, wanting to hear what his peers had to say. His engagement with his professors improved because he realized that they only wanted to help him. A slight attitude change and devotion on the court led to success across different paths of his life.
“In college and in life, everyone will have to work with people who are difficult, but no matter how much you like or dislike them, they way you respond to the situation depends on you,” Drummond wrote. “When I learned to humble myself more, opportunities have come my way.”
Now the senior captain of the Anacostia High School basketball team, James has his eyes set on enrolling at North Carolina A&T where he intends to pursue a degree in criminal justice. With honor roll accolades and community groups supporting him, James looks forward to his upcoming challenges in life.
“These lessons have changed my point of view of the basketball game and life,” he closed his essay with. “I will take all these lessons with me to college and the workforce.”
About Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation
Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation supports the charitable efforts of the professional teams under its umbrella: the Washington Capitals, Mystics, Wizards, Valor and Baltimore Brigade. MSE Foundation is committed to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and focuses on the following five pillars to maximize its impact and engagement with the community: youth basketball, football and hockey; education and scholarship; pediatric health and fitness; military and veterans' affairs; and hunger and homelessness. For more information visit
About District of Columbia College Access Program
D.C. College Access Program is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping all D.C. students prepare for, enroll in and graduate from college as the cornerstone of a successful future. Since 1999, DC-CAP has worked with parents and educational partners, inspiring, counseling and providing fundamental support to help low income D.C. students believe that college is possible, find the path to get there and complete their education. By building long-term relationships and connections, DC-CAP is with students every step of the way, helping them to navigate the complex waters of the college application and financial aid process as well as providing integral support while they are in college. DC-CAP has helped more than 23,000 students enroll in college, supports more than 7,000 currently in college through its retention division, has awarded more than $33 million in scholarships and has celebrated the success of more than 6,500 college graduates who otherwise never would have had the opportunity for higher education. For more information, visit