In memory of an amazing life, legend and legacy, this article is one of the final media clippings that celebrate Kelvin Hicks, also known as Special K and Cal. Brooklyn born on May 28, 1958, Kelvin Hicks transitioned into glory on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. He positively impacted every life he touched through his roles as a passionate basketball playing young boy, a college ball All-Star and community youth director. A standing room only crowd gathered to pay final tribute and respect, during the home-going services; and those who shared, expressed the common heartfelt sentiment that Kelvin Hicks was a consistently humble, loving and caring man towards his friends, family, youth and communities.
The legend, life and legacy of Kelvin Hicks were such that the Brooklyn communities he tremendously influenced deemed him the "Mayor of Fulton Street" and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz decreed January 23 “Kelvin Hicks Memorial Day.” Kelvin is a passionate basketball playing Lefferts Park legend, 3-time NCAA Division II All-American, NBA New York Knicks draft pick, Switzerland professional ball player, and 2004 inductee in the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) Men’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Kelvin’s greatest achievement is the legacy he leaves through his committed and compassionate work as Director of Youth Council for The Vannguard Urban Improvement Center in Brooklyn, NY. His dedication to ensuring that the youth received an education and was properly trained and prepared to be productive citizens and world contributors is second to none.
Tributes flowed freely and in abundance from the overflow standing room only attendees, during the Wake service for Kelvin. Former NYIT teammate Clyde Doughty, Jr. described it this way, “Tonight there were young folks, old folks, middle aged folks, women, men, and children who lined up at the mic to express their gratitude to an individual who gave so much and wanted nothing in return except to see you succeed and be happy. The voices were different, but the content and message were consistent; he was one great basketball player who was a better person. Through basketball he was a Messiah who used the sport and his talents to bring us together so we could live life … with kindness and respect. Through death he has made all of us look in the mirror to determine if we are living life in a manner that reflects those virtues …. He always packed the place with his presence.”
Friends also posted endearing reflections of their Special K encounters on Kelvin’s facebook page:
- College roommate and namesake Kelvin Jones describes Special K as “Most Humble, Baddd Dude on the court, nicest guy off it …He quietly led by example, showing a wild group of Freshmen ... what was expected as student Athletes, without lecturing.”
- Brooklyn Technical High School buddy William A. Jones III gives thanks for the friendship, the love and the brotherhood; meeting and being welcomed in by the Hicks family; and for the example of humility, love and care for all those whose lives Kelvin blessed all over this world during his lifetime.
- Childhood friend Ricky Myers recounts the story of how Kelvin saved him (at 9-years old) from drowning in the Flatbush Boys Club pool; and Kelvin’s life changing humanitarian contributions as in the formation and operation of Lefferts Park Community's Annual Reunions and his demonstration of genuine concern for the advancement of the human family by assisting thousands of NYC's youth and young adults, through self improvement programs that lead to employment thus changing their lives for the better.
Kelvin's oldest brother Deacon Walter Hicks, Jr. shared a message at the home-going service from Kelvin to the youth saying, “It’s time to put down your toys and pick up your tools.”
I personally knew Kelvin from college and am grateful for this opportunity to spread his legacy across the World Wide Web. Kelvin Hicks, also described as a gentle giant, lived a full and passionate purpose-filled life in excellence. I can hear the Master saying, “Well done Kelvin, My good and faithful servant, well done.” I pray we all pay Kelvin the most honorable tribute by aspiring to continue his legacy in our own lives and be a blessing to all who cross our paths.
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