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Wayne Ellington featured in the Undefeated for his anti-gun violence campaign

Ellington plans to bring his message of ending senseless gun violence to Miami.

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Count Wayne Ellington as among the most passionate advocates of winning through talent, not violence. The Undefeated published a feature piece "The painful arc of becoming an anti-gun activist," written by Pulitizer-prize winning author Will Bunch, highlighting Ellington's tireless efforts.

"The musty mausoleum-like gym at North Philadelphia’s Girard College — where the 28-year-old Miami Heat shooting guard would feel most at home — was upstairs and empty for now. Instead, he was down in this sweltering basement on a brutal August afternoon, standing up to address about 50 young men and teens who were leaning forward on their hard metal chairs to hear the soft-spoken college standout turned NBA journeyman.

"It was the senior Ellington, who’d played a little football at Pennsylvania’s Kutztown State University, who made sure as a YMCA coach that his son played point guard to develop his ballhandling skills – even though he was the tallest kid on the team. When the younger Ellington was the most valuable player on the North Carolina team that won the national championship in 2009, his dad’s beaming face was the first thing he saw through a torrent of confetti.

"As a pro, Ellington has bounced around the league – the Heat will be his seventh team in nine seasons – but his dad watched every game on TV, no matter where they were.

"He[the junior Ellington] resolved to launch the Philadelphia Peace Games that took place on Aug. 20, and slowly The Power of W.E. became more than a slogan. He taped a public service announcement for an anti-violence program at North Philadelphia’s Temple University Hospital, gave away more than 2,000 tickets to Brooklyn, New York, youth groups after joining the Nets for the 2015-16 season, and hopes to make connections in Miami now that he’s with the Heat."

His father encouraged Ellington to play point guard at an early age, which accounts for his preference to make field goal attempts from outside the arc. Perhaps occasionally filling in at the point would fulfill the dreams of Ellington's dad.

Miami will be the beneficiary of this strong-willed, soft-spoken man who shares with Dion Waiters, a strong passion for the game coupled with the loss of a close family member through gun violence.

Joined by former Nets teammate Willie Reed, don't sleep on the Heat because the addition of Ellington and other newcomers, with their dedication to hard work and the team (along with community causes) may lead to unexpected successes on and off the court this season.