At 6’7”, Chris Canty is known throughout the league as being extremely tall for a defensive tackle. Since Canty’s rookie days in 2005, he has used his size to create mismatches for interior offensive lineman, since most are between 6’2” and 6’4”. His 272 career tackles along with 19 career sacks, have made him a gem after falling to the fourth round of the draft in 2005, where he was selected by the Cowboys out of the University of Virginia. At UVA, Canty had a stellar career, and looked as if he was heading towards being a first round pick, before tearing his ACL, MCL, and PCL in the fourth game of his senior season. Canty was coming off a season where he was named second team all ACC. Besides his knee injury, another reason Canty fell in the draft was a horrific eye injury he suffered in January at a club in Arizona. Canty was diagnosed with a detached retina. Canty used the fact that he fell in the draft as motivation however, as he persevered to make an impact his rookie year on his way to taking over the starting role for his sophomore campaign in the league. After playing four years in big D, Canty signed with the rival Giants in free agency, where he has been part of a very disruptive defensive line that helped lead the Giants to a Super Bowl championship in 2012.
Canty has not only made an impact on the field however, as he also does extensive work in the community via the Chris Canty Foundation. The foundation is focused around several keys and focuses for youth athletes, with it’s mission being dedicated to enhancing the total development of our countries youth of all ages and backgrounds. According to the foundation website, chriscantyfoundation.org, the goal is to “utilize the platform of sports to affect positive change in the lives of children through mentoring, educational programs, health and fitness activities thus promoting health and well being.” Canty says. “We seek to inspire our youth to be in service to our communities and our communities to be in service to our youth by providing support to these initiatives.”
The foundation helps youth in communities by providing avenues for children to develop their talents and gifts. “We believe that creating an environment in which each child receives personal attention and support fosters a sense of value and self-confidence.” The website says. “It is our hope that by establishing high expectations for children, they will aspire to become true champions in life.”
Canty’s biggest contribution to the foundation is his “Champions Circle Mentoring Program.” The program launched the Champions Circle Mentoring Program to expose youth to positive role models in the community, educational resources, and potential career paths. Youth participants learn to embrace teamwork and critical thinking skills through a series of activities that will also empower them to build healthy relationships and improve self-esteem. This program also reinforces the importance of volunteerism and teaches youth participants the value in establishing strong, positive life skills. Through classroom learning and field experience, participants and their mentors embark on a journey that greatly impacts and improves their personal growth and development.
The other big action held by the foundation are four conferences held each year geared towards developing leadership skills in high school students that will expand well beyond high school. Each conference will include a panel discussion, workshop for parents and students, along with Q&A sessions for students with educators and industry experts. The leadership conference series topics are College Prep, Healthy Habits, Technology & Communication and Servant Leadership which will culminate in a four week Summer Leadership Institute. The focus of each event will allow students in the Charlotte area to participate in activities that are mission critical to the Chris Canty Foundation.
Like many athletes, the foundations goals are to be ethical, accountable, divers, collaborative, and advocates in the community. They value providing hope for our youth, service to others, respect among one another, justice in our soceity, and compassion. With foundations ike this one, hope is certainly created, as it makes people realize how influential one man or woman can be in another’s life.
Follow Chris on twitter @ChrisCanty99 and @PlayerInsiders
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