In 1985, when John was a young adolescent, his best friend’s mother was shot at her home in a drug related shooting. This broke John’s father, Lee’s, heart and he insisted on taking John’s friend in to be his foster child. From that point on, the Mobley home would act as a safe haven to a multitude of kids who were exposed to a less than desirable home life. Mr. Mobley was John’s hero, and witnessing his father’s many acts of selflessness amplified John’s admiration and respect for him. A man who wore many hats, it seemed like Lee did it all. He worked tirelessly to help others, from the church where he was a deacon, to the crime ridden neighborhood in West Palm Beach, Florida where he liked to fancy himself a handyman, to the local parks where he coached John and his friends. Lee’s passion to help others was undeniable.
Lee became a father figure and mentor to the neighborhood children. He knew the importance of giving young children hope and nurturing to help them become successful young men and women. Lee felt a need to provide an outlet for these kids to help them succeed. So he, along with his co-pastor, William E. Evans established a youth sports league to keep the kids engaged in physical activity and keep them off the streets. Sports became the outlet through which many of them grew and found talents they’d never known they had.
Even though Lee was active in helping as many kids as possible, he still made it a priority to support his biological children in their interests. John remembers that from a very young age his father would say to him “I hope I live long enough to see you play in the NFL.” John worked hard to make his hero proud. In 1990, when John was 16, Lee had a stroke which left him paralyzed and unable to speak. This motivated John to stay focused on his goals. John went on to attend college and eventually play in the NFL. Even with his physical limitations, Lee saw his dream actualized when he was able to attend one of John’s NFL games. A year later, Lee Earnest Mobley passed away from a stroke which left John fatherless at the young age of 24. But not without leaving his son an incredible legacy to follow! LEE’s LEGACY…
Over the years, John has taken to the same habits that his father exhibited. He has the same heart to help children who otherwise wouldn’t have the means or opportunity to participate in youth sports, which he knows through experience, is an excellent catalyst to fostering a child’s pride and desire to achieve. John wanted to not only follow in his Hero’s footsteps but expand the reach of what Lee started. John formed “Lee’s Legacy Youth Foundation” in an effort to help underprivileged and at-risk children through academic tutoring, mentoring and sports.
It is now John’s passion and pleasure to continue “Lee’s Legacy”.