What started out as a very close friendship between two Columbus, Georgia natives, Sam Mitchell and Marc Upshaw has become a dream come true for both. For one, the game of basketball and his love for the sport would be what he thought was his ticket out of the poverty stricken East Highland community. His prowess on the basketball court was known in the tri-city area and throughout Georgia . He also flourished as a student athlete at the University of Rhode Island, graduating in 1984. Many felt he was destined for the professional level until a knee injury in his senior year dissolved all hopes of him fulfilling this life long dream. Marc went on to fulfill another dream and is now CEO and founder of a thirteen year old medical company, Global Diagnostic Services, Inc. based out of Conyers, Georgia.

The other young man, however, wasn't so confident of his dormant basketball abilities. His friend saw discipline, hard work and heart in Sam's character and constantly pushed him to excel in the sport. Mitchell would play overseas for three years, followed by a thirteen year career in the NBA playing for the Indiana Pacers and the Minnesota Timberwolves respectively. He is presently in his third year as Head Coach of the Toronto Raptors and has gained the international respect of his players, colleagues and fans. Maybe it was during an ambitious attempt to travel to Atlanta on their bikes ( Atlanta is approximately 100 miles outside of Columbus ) or maybe it was during another long work out session when the two made a vow to each other that when they “made it,” they would come back and give to the community in a big way. The two childhood friends have made good on this vow. Those of us who have experienced any amount of success realize that it must begin as a thought. The name of the foundation, The SaMarc Dream and Achieve Foundation, represents this belief to the fullest and it is this belief that lies at the core of the foundation's existence. It is also this belief that is instilled in the many boys and girls who attend our summer basketball camps. Basketball only serves as the carrot however. The camp is much more than the game of basketball. It's about the game of life, dreaming, achieving, and giving.


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