Garry Mills is an inspirer. A charismatic young man that children admire and respect, and a young man that parents respect and value. The two rr's in his name reflect the double commitment to leaving an impact upon his community and to changing and saving the lives of young black children: male and female. Garry Mills is making a mark upon his community and the youth that live within it.
As young black males in the world are endangered, in the community at large and within neighborhoods, Garry is determined that young black men have the God-given right to become old black men; fathers, husbands, uncles, and grandparents. His experience with the sport of basketball and the mentoring that he received through being part of a team, along with seeing far too many of his contemporaries ending up in prison or dead, inspired him to establish Shoot Basketball Not People.
Born and raised in the West Oak area of Philadelphia, his parents and grandparents are goal-oriented, creative, driven, with a strong work ethic that was passed forward from his grandparents, through his parents to Garry and his brother Marlon. Family values were grounded in honor, faith, setting goals, and achieving them. Garry carries on this legacy by planting these same seeds in the lives of the young people that his organization influences.
His basketball career began at Lincoln High School where he was a Shooting Guard. It was Eric Mundy (West Oak Lane Head Coach) that changed his outlook on life and the game of basketball. Coach Mundy instilled and installed the values of hard work, long practice hours, training, teamwork, forming a brotherhood on and off the court, and consistency on and off the court.
Other than the strong, solid underpinnings of his family, the attributes that were gained through the game of basketball have served to influence and undergird his life.
As the world has changed, Garry witnessed the change in his neighborhood and his city. When he grew up, his neighborhood was family-oriented, but West Oak Lane changed as did the entire city.
In 2009, he noticed that several of his friends were dying, victims of gun violence. One was too many. In response to this, feeling that a change had to be made, Garry hosted a non-violence basketball game at Wister playground that was attended by more than 500 people. He realized that basketball could change and save lives by instilling the ability to dream and set goals in the lives of young people.
What has become a mantra, deep in his spirit, was No More. There comes a time when a voice within says ‘NO MORE’. No more children being shot by one another. NO MORE funerals of young people mowed down in their prime. NO MORE losing the contributions and aspirations of young people to an early grave. NO MORE! With this sentiment ringing deeply, the plan of action for Shoot Basketballs Not People became MORE- SBNP Skills Clinics; MORE-SBNP Summer Camps; MORE- SBNP Leagues; and MORE- SBNP Tournaments.
Garry Mills, through SBNP, is dedicated to using basketball as the vehicle to save and change the lives of young people.
* Lincoln High School Varsity Team Season MVP (2001)
* Member of Lincoln High School’s 30 year All Time Team (1974-2014)
* First Team All Public Member (2000-2001)
* Marksward Award Winner (2001)
* All City Honorable Mention (2001)
* Wells Fargo Community Leader (2013)
* Sixers "Hero's Among Us" Award (2015)
* Black Enterprise Magazine “Be Modern” Man (2016)
* Philadelphia Business Journal Top 40 Entrepreneurs under 40 (2019)
* Recipient of Verizon/AOL “Good People” award (2020)