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KCK RBIFirst baseman Justin Chigbogu (in the back row, red hat) recently met with youth in the KCK RBI program. (Submitted photo)
Dodgers minor-league first baseman Justin Chigbogu recently met with youth in the KCK RBI program at the Kensington Gym, Kansas City, Kan.
With its fourth-round selection in last year’s 2012 first year player draft, the Los Angeles Dodgers drafted first baseman Chigbogu, a three-sport athlete (football, basketball, baseball) out of Raytown South (Mo.) High School.
Chigbogu, 18, a former local RBI participant who entered the draft rated by Baseball America as the eighth-best prospect out of the state of Missouri, has managed to find time to give back to inner city youth after completing his first year of professional baseball.
On Friday, Feb. 15, at Kensington Gym, Chigbogu spoke to KCK RBI league participants, who included members of the KCK RBI STICKS, random league teams, and several kids who participated in last year’s Major League Baseball All Star week and Junior RBI Classic.
Chigbogu spoke to the KCK RBI youth about the importance of faith, education, hard work, dedication, and commitment.
When asked what was his first thought when he got drafted, he said, “First I thanked God and then I thanked my mom for everything she has done for me, on my batting gloves I write F.O.E family over everything.”
His mother, Bobbie Williams, attended the mentor session along with his sister, Jahila Davis, and she stated that she has always taught Justin to “keep God first and hard work pays off.” The visit made a huge impact on the KCK RBI league participants who attended, asked questions, and requested autographs.
Chigbogu, a 6-1, 230-pound Dodgers minor leaguer, has participated in the RBI program since he was 11 years old. He played under coach Calvin Williamson on the Calley Tires Phillies team. He also participated in the S.T.I.C.K.S. little league.
During his first 32 professional games with the Dodgers Justin had 23 hits, 4 doubles, and 3 home runs.
Devon Lujan, who also participated in the MLB All-Star Week and Junior RBI Classic last year stated, “I really look up to Justin and admire how humble he is, he has become so successful at a young age, I am prayerful that the KCK RBI program will help me follow in his footsteps considering we play the same position and have a similar skill set.”
A spokesman for KCK RBI said the organization is thankful for the time it was able to spend with Justin and wishes him the best of luck as he prepares to depart for spring training in the upcoming weeks. Justin will keep his KCK RBI fans updated on his season via the RBI FYI section at www.kckrbi.org. KCK RBI also thanked the KCK Unified Government Parks and Rec department for helping make such an event possible.
Since 2010, the KCK RBI program has given more than 1,600 urban boys and girls the opportunity to learn the sport of baseball and softball and important life skills in a safe supervised environment. Every year, the KCK RBI program sends teams to the RBI central regional tournament where they have the opportunity to qualify for the RBI World Series. In 2011, KCK RBI was the only team at the RBI Central Regional located in Saint Louis to represent the KC Royals. In 2012, KCK RBI had 18 league participants and countless coaches and volunteers participate in the 2012 MLB All Star Week and Junior RBI Classic. KCK RBI is the only RBI league in the state of Kansas.
- from Cle Ross, executive director, KCK RBI