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As Memphis Athletic Ministries (MAM) celebrates its 25th year of ministry, we are honored to share 25 stories of impact, from current students, alumni, parents, coaches, volunteers, donors, and community partners. Meet Bryan Turner, a former youth participant turned coach at MAM Olivet.

Born and raised in Memphis, Bryan’s first encounter with MAM occurred in 2008 when he was just eight years old. Hearing about it from kids in the neighborhood, he was immediately drawn to the idea of a safe place to play basketball. Little did he know that this initial attraction would mark the beginning of a transformative journey that would shape his future.

Bryan, pictured right, attends Bible study at MAM Olivet in 2014

Throughout his years as a MAM participant, Bryan engaged in various programs that offered him personal and spiritual growth. Sports, including basketball and flag football, played a significant role in humbling Bryan and teaching him the importance of listening and respecting authority figures. Additionally, Bible Study at MAM introduced Bryan to foundational teachings such as John 3:16, nurturing his spiritual development. Participating in the Amplify Mentor Program and the MAM Leadership Program provided him with valuable life skills and the opportunity to voice his ideas for improving MAM. MAM’s Summer Academy, with its emphasis on fun and camaraderie, allowed Bryan to forge lasting friendships and learn the value of community. One standout experience was his time at Victory Ranch, where Bryan grew emotionally and learned about the love of Christ through the guidance of Coach Wayne and discussions about faith.

As a student at MAM, Bryan had the privilege of being coached by Damion, who played a pivotal role in teaching him about the value of winning and losing, providing him with many life lessons. MAM also instilled in Bryan a stronger dedication to his education, encouraging him to take school more seriously and not settle for mediocrity.

Bryan’s MAM coach was not just a mentor on the court; he was the first person to place a Bible in Bryan’s hands, fostering his spiritual growth. The guidance and support Bryan received from his coaches have continued into adulthood, as he still maintains relationships with Damion, Marcus, Jeff, and Wayne, who offer him ongoing mentorship and advice.

Inspired by the opportunities and support he received as a MAM participant, Bryan made the decision to give back by joining MAM as a staff member in 2019. His desire to provide the same opportunities and support to today’s youth was fueled by a personal tragedy—when his brother passed away, MAM became a haven for Bryan during a difficult time. Today, Bryan’s role as a coach allows him to act as a big brother to the middle school kids, providing them with the support and guidance they need.

Bryan, pictured far right, led his middle school basketball team to the championship in 2020.

Working at MAM has had a profound impact on Bryan’s personal growth. It has accelerated his maturation, challenging his preconceptions and teaching him not to judge others. MAM’s unwavering support and care have shaped Bryan into a responsible and empathetic individual.

Looking ahead, Bryan envisions himself working in a corporate environment, utilizing his business degree to contribute to a renowned retail brand like Nike. This demonstrates the confidence and ambition MAM has instilled in him to pursue his dreams.

Bryan’s journey from a young participant to a coach at MAM showcases the transformative power of the organization. By providing a safe and supportive environment, MAM has empowered Bryan to grow academically, spiritually, and personally. Through the guidance of dedicated coaches and mentors, MAM has instilled in Bryan the values of resilience, compassion, and ambition. As MAM continues to bridge the gap in the community and inspire countless lives, Bryan’s story stands as a testament to the organization’s profound and lasting impact.Join us in celebrating the 25th anniversary of Memphis Athletic Ministries by becoming a monthly donor, or a MAM MVP. For just $25 a month, you can help us continue to provide a safe and nurturing environment for youth to experience Gospel-centered sports and afterschool programming. Your monthly donation will make a significant impact on our ministry, allowing us to provide even more opportunities to coach, grow, and lead the youth of Memphis. Click the image above to give $25 for 25.

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