Every kid can be a star. Those are words of wisdom passed down from one grandfather to his grandson, and his legacy continues to live on.
They're encouraging words Malique Washington's grandfather gave him growing up — those words now printed on pages of a children's book, titled 'Be a Star'.
"My papa believed that every kid could a be star," said Washington.
James Kelson is Malique's grandfather. A man who taught his grandkids to work hard and believe that they could be a star in whatever they were doing. They're life lessons Washington now uses on the basketball court at Mesa Community College.
His grandfather attended as many games as he could.
"He was probably my top fan," said Washington. "He was probably one of my biggest supporters."
He was a proud grandfather watching his grandson live out those words of wisdom but Kelson wanted to inspire even more young people and dreamed of writing a children's book. Kelson hoped to inspire other kids to be a star, but unfortunately, he died before that could happen.
"I knew that my papa would want me to make something of this, to not feel bad about it and to make something positive and try to inspire as many people as possible,” he explained.
So, Washington wrote and published his own children's book in his grandfather's honor.
The 20-year-old spent his own money to make it happen. Although his grandfather might not be on the sidelines anymore, his words are certainly still alive and well.
Malique was also inspired by Devin Booker, the Phoenix Suns player, since they're about the same age and obviously love basketball. Booker is portrayed in the book as the teacher in the classroom.