Gian Paul Gonzalez was asked to lead a chapel service for members of the New York Giants team the night before the team’s Christmas Eve 2011 game against the New York Jets. There was little hope then that the team would make it to the playoffs. To illustrate the concept of commitment Gonzalez handed each football player a poker chip, instructing them to write their number on one side of the chip and write what they wanted to be committed to on the other side. He then shared with the team the meaning behind the poker phrase "All In." He inspired them to be committed and put all their "chips" on the table. We are faced with decisions every day at which time we can decide to be fully committed, or all in," says Gonzalez, a former All-American forward, who passed up a professional basketball contract to continue his work with at-risk youth. "He said to the players, 'I want you to fully commit to being all in on something.'"
Gonzalez went on to urge players to fully commit to anything they take on, whether as a father, husband, son or even, a football player.
The next day, after Gian Paul's chapel message, the Giants beat the Jets 29-14. In a post game interview, Giant's Defensive End, Justin Tuck credited the chapel speaker's (Gian-Paul) message of being "All In" as the reason the Giants win that day. The team went on to win every game, up to and including Super Bowl XLVI, where they beat the New England Patriots 21-17.
Gian Paul Gonzalez is himself an inspiration. He was a former NCAA First Team All-American forward from Montclair State University scoring nearly 1,400 points in his 3 year career. Played in the NBA Summer League in 2007 and was offered a few professional basketball contracts, yet he turned them down in order to continue his work with at-risk youth. He is a gifted motivational speaker and is the founder of 4-One, an organization dedicated to using basketball to share a message of hope and striving for excellence in inner-city public schools and juvenile jails.
Gian Paul has had the opportunity to motivate many , from Super Bowl Champions and Forbes 500 Corporations to neighborhood High Schools and Churches here’s a listing of just a few and what they have to say about Gian-Paul. The Hope & Future Foundation provides opportunities for youth to proactively become empowered members of their community through extracurricular activities, events and programming to provide health, and wellness while bridging the gaps between individual growth, improving families, and unifying communities around a common core belief that there is a hope for each child personally, academically, socially, and economically while creating numerous mechanisms to achieve in the present and in the future.