Derek Richardson, a long-standing NBA referee, has found another life purpose outside the league.
According to a press release, he purchased the K. Anthony School in Inglewood, California, and it has been renamed in honor of his mother, Delores T. Richardson.
Richardson credits his mother as “the first and most important teacher throughout his life.”
The reopening took place at the school’s facility on Saturday (Oct. 29) and consisted of a ribbon cutting and open house.
Richardson plans to preserve the private educational institution’s legacy created in 1971. Before the locale became a school, it was a fire station and a nightclub.
“Richardson’s mission is to provide children and families with the same opportunities other individuals from other communities receive. Purchasing the K. Anthony Elementary School gives him more of a direct impact on providing the academic and social well-being of students and families the school will serve,” reads the press release.
Richardson has always lived a duality of athletics and humanitarian duties. He has spent 26 years as a referee in the NBA and is a former Group Supervisor for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
Following the tragic 2005 occurrence of Hurricane Katrina, the advocate co-founded the Why Can’t We Make A Difference Foundation (WCWMAD). He became the Executive Director of the foundation that assisted families with unexpected challenges in their lives.
In 2012, after visiting an elementary school in South Central, LA, the mission of WCWMAD changed to a more academic approach. The mission continues, as the foundation teamed up with the Children’s Defense Funds Summer Freedom School and increased reading and comprehension levels by 66.7% during a six-week program.