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Daytonian of the Week: Norris Cole 

Norris Cole II says the feats he has accomplished on basketball courts are not what makes him successful. 

“It’s not so much that I made it to the NBA.  It is that I accomplished a goal I set out to accomplish,” The Dunbar High School graduate and NBA free agent said. “I was willing to put the time in to accomplish that goal.” 

That’s part of the message Cole said he hopes the kids who attend his annual basketball camp and other youth programs in Dayton receive.

The Norris Cole Foundation aims to encourage “academic achievement, health and well-being, community service and leadership and development.” 

Besides fitness programs like Cole Climb at the Kettering Tower, the foundation includes Cole Minds Reading and Literacy Program and the Cole Minds Leadership Development Program. 

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“I want to inspire the next generation,” said Cole, a free agent who has played for the Miami Heat and New Orleans Pelicans. 

“I want to encourage them and inspire them to be the best they can be.” 

The Cleveland State University basketball standout last played for the Shandong Golden Stars of the Chinese Basketball Association.

>> MORE: Norris Cole II helps launch 'Read On' at the Dayton Art Institute

The Miami Heat’s Goran Dragic drives against the New Orleans Pelicans’ Norris Cole (30) during the first quarter at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. The Pelicans won, 105-91. ((David Santiago)/El Nuevo Herald/TNS) (David Santiago)


Cole hopes to join another NBA team. 

>> MORE:  Dayton native Cole a good match for Cavs?

Cole says he stresses balance in students. 

“I was a good student.  I was active in my church and my community, and I was a good athlete,” the member of  Webster Street Church of Christ in Dayton said. 


We caught up with Cole, the newest Daytonian of the Week, by phone while he was in Miami.  

What do you do?

Cole: I am a professional basketball player.

What superpower would you love to have?

Cole: If I could have a superpower, it would be the ability to read minds and the ability to fly.

What do you hope will be the result of your work? 

Cole: I hope the results of my work inspire the youth to grow and be productive, well-rounded citizens.

What do you love about Dayton?

Miami Heat guard Norris Cole (30) drives past Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida on October 29, 2014. ((Allen Eyestone) / The Palm Beach Post) (Allen Eyestone)

Cole: I love that Dayton is Home and the way the city has helped me develop into the professional that I am.

Where do you go for a great time when you are in the city?

Cole: When home, I have fun by going to the Kroc Center to work out and play basketball with my friends.

I also love going to Huffies BBQ and to Penn Station to eat while home.

>> MORE:  Legendary Dayton BBQ man, police officer dies, remembered as champion 

What should people know about Dayton?

Cole: People should know that Dayton is home to many good young student athletes, especially for the size of the city.

What does Dayton need?

Cole: I believe Dayton needs a facility or two where student athletes can go to train, study and receive tutoring all in one setting. 

>> MORE: Heat’s Norris Cole, like LeBron James, doesn’t forget his Ohio roots

24 March 07 Photo by (Ron Alvey). Norris Cole II, of Dunbar, starts a second half fastbreak. Cole had 8 points and 7 assists in the 87 to 85 victory over Upper Sandusky in the Division II boys state basketball champinship game. (Ron Alvey)

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