Last month Philadelphia Youth Basketball welcomed a board member, Olin Chamberlain, to our diverse cohort of professionals dedicated to our mission of serving the young people of Philadelphia. We were lucky enough to catch up with Olin to learn more about his love for the game of basketball, his rich family history and his passion being involved in a movement that is “bigger than the game.”
A Vice President of Market Growth and Business Development at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage leading the Northeast and Centralized Divisions, Olin is not only a leader in the financial, sales, and marketing industries, but is a devoted father of three children and an avid member in the community, serving on various boards and mentoring many young people. Although his family is from Pennsylvania, Olin was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Diamond Bar, a suburb of eastern Los Angeles county. A stellar basketball player throughout high school, Olin went on to junior college and was offered a sales position at the LA Times, where he quickly elevated to become one of the youngest Sales Managers in the company. After several professional advances, Olin and his family relocated to Georgia, where he spent a number of years before moving to the City of Brotherly Love.
Having a rich family history in Philadelphia, the city where Olin’s uncle, Wilt, developed and dominated professionally, Olin continues to be dedicated to deepening his connection in the community. He regularly offers strategic advice and mentorship support at several organizations with diversity issues in the region and provides guidance pertaining to relationship management and business development. “We need to mirror the markets we serve,” Olin stated. “For instance, if your community is 20% minority, your organization should be trying to mirror that.” Committed to serving the community and kids, Olin has searched for other areas of impact. “I wanted to be more involved with things that aren’t aligned with work, things I enjoy and am passionate about, such as the game of basketball, and opportunities that my children could benefit from.”
Olin and his wife, Michelle, have three children, Bria (21), Kayla (16), and Olin Jr. (10). Olin Jr., the last Chamberlain to carry on the family name, has acquired the family’s athleticism gene and has excelled in the Philly Triple Threat (PTT) program, led by PYB’s Program Director, Eric Worley. Olin was first introduced to PYB through several PTT announcements. As a former player and father of athletic children, PYB’s mission for holistic youth development through the combination of leadership and character development, educational and college preparatory supports, health and wellness, family engagement, skilled coaching and mentorship, and the iconic game of basketball resonated with Olin.
“Basketball is a large part of the history of Philadelphia,” Olin says, “We need to meet children where they are. We need to meet them at the court, lure them with basketball, and then surround them with the other support and exposure. If I didn’t grow up with basketball and the exposure to other opportunities and different types of people, I might not be the same person I am today.”
Olin has been inspired by the PYB programming, particularly the MLK Middle School Basketball Tournament (for a recap of the MLK Tournament click here), where his son’s team along with 28 other boys and girls teams from various neighborhoods throughout the Philadelphia area participated in a weekend of competitive gameplay and academic lessons on MLK Jr.’s life and legacy. He has also found the inclusion of PYB student-athletes in leadership roles during special events, such as the Audacity of Hoop event, to be important and powerful in their personal development.
“This is how I bridge my family and myself into a great organization to be involved in a strong multi-pronged organization for all ages, genders, ethnicities grounded by youth development and the shared loved of basketball and Philadelphia. I made a phenomenal decision joining this organization!”
PYB is overjoyed to have Olin a part of the movement. His professional and personal experiences and passion for youth development and cultural inclusion brings the organization a wealth of knowledge and expertise.
By Diana Venezia, Fund Development Coordinator