Denver Nuggets star and Baltimore native Will Barton visited his hometown Thursday to open a clothing store in Waverly that will sell Barton's "Protect The Family" line of sports apparel.
Barton said a portion of all sales will support mentoring programs for underprivileged children in the city. He described the mission as near and dear to his heart.
"Growing up in Baltimore, my family was the most important thing in my life and is the reason I have any success today," he said. "That's why we created Protect The Family -- to honor not just my family but to give everyone the opportunity to recognize their families no matter who they consider that to be."
Barton, who starred at Lake Clifton and City College, is having a breakout season with the Nuggets. He was preparing to play against the Washington Wizards Thursday night.
He also emerged as a community leader last year during the civil unrest following Freddie Gray's death in police custody, helping to organize a neighborhood recreation day and cookout in Druid Hill Park.