We had the good fortune of connecting with David Solano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi David, what do you want people to remember about you?
What is my legacy? Wow! That’s a tough question. I think it’s a two-part answer. The first part is my girls are my legacy. How I raise them as a father. How I give them a chance to be successful. Am I raising them to be great? That’s truly a huge part of my legacy. Will my two daughters grow up to be successful in life, will they be successful parents, will they give back to the community they are from? Will they help inspire the next generation as I have inspired their generation. How they keep my memory alive after I am gone is a huge part of my legacy. That is a huge part of how I want to be remembered. The second part to my legacy is how the kids I’ve taught, coached or mentored remember me. I don’t want them to remember that I taught them how to read or find the main idea of an article, but I want them to remember my presence. How I was always there to help and how my presence in the community was always there and how I was always there without a camera. I volunteered my time because it was the right thing to do, not because I wanted to look good in the eyes of others. I want them to remember how when they were in my presence, I gave them my heart. I want the young men and women I have inspired to be better dads and moms. I also want them all to have high expectations in life..
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
First of all I am an educator. I am finishing up my 23rd year, and that was a journey in itself. I was denied entrance into public school as an enrolling Kindergartner and now I am finishing up my 23rd year. That s truly a story in itself. Now as the President of Solano’s No Limit Hoops it has been a battle to create. It was an idea that I really thought about for many many years. Sometimes I even have to pinch myself to realize that it’s real. You see because of my disability I wasn’t always allowed to participate in P.E. They never really gave me a chance to participate. They just assumed I couldn’t participate. It hurt me in many ways, my parents always said, “Just stay on the path that’s given to you”. I yearned to be a part of those P.E classes. I have always had. a love for sports. My dad and I always watched basketball and football together. We talked sports all the time. But because I of my disability I was never able to partake in sports activities in schools. The conversations I had with my dad though, the books I read about different coaches and athletes all helped me mold a plan that I was going to put into use if I ever became a coach or ran my own sports program. It was a journey to become a basketball coach. The journey consisted of a lot of no’s and a lot of rudeness. I went 4 years before an opposing coach shook my hand after. a game. The journey also had.a lot of success. It became common for my teams to be undefeated, we were always in the hunt for the state championship. My parents said follow the path that’s laid out for you. I was mad as a kid with that statement but now I was glad with where my path has led me. I also had an idea of how to help more kids. yes, coaching was fun but I was only impacting the kids on my team. I was wondering how I could impact more kids. So, I went on a mission to create my own free basketball program for a neighborhood very short of free youth programs. This journey was tough too, but much shorter than my previous journeys because I was already a name in the community. We call our program No Limit’ Hoops because we want these young kids to understand they have no limits in life. I want them to believe that they can be great,, the color of their skin doesn’t determine their success, but their inner drive does. I want them to understand if a door gets shut in their face to keep looking for the next door to open. I also want them to understand that they can’t be content when they finally get in that door.. They have to show that they belong and that they’re the best. My dad always said winning breeds winning. That’s what I am trying to do.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I always tell a friend or family member to come down in October. I take them to the Arizona State Fair for the day. We don’t really =go for the rides, but for all the foods. The state fair is a great place to hangout and catch up with family or friends in October. The next night I’ll take them to Westgate to hang out . My little one will go get wet at the water area and we can relax and sit and talk. We can go to Dave and Buster’s and play some games. Of course dinner time has to be at Shane’s Rib Shack.. The next night will have to be a Mexican food night so we’ll travel to south Phoenix and eat at Poncho’s. The other nght’s will be hanging out in my backyard enjoying the lovely October weather in Phoenix.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A huge shout out to my parents. My parents are my foundation. I may have been born but they chiseled me into the adult that I am today. I know I am living my own life but I am just the main character in their story. They dedicated the early part of my life to making sure I could be as independent as I could be. They raised a child with a disability and let me dream big. They were advocates and didn’t even know they were. They created a path when there was no road. My success is their success.
Facebook: @solano’s no limit Hoops