Pleasant surprise for NHS
By By Matthew Nascone
Anthony Pleasant may have played in the National Football League for 14 seasons, but he has not forgotten where he came from and who took care of him.
On Dec. 12 Pleasant, a Century, Fla. native, donated a check to Northview High School Lady Chiefs head coach Lorenzo Jones to help pay for the team's new uniforms. Jones said this type of donation is not a once in a lifetime act.
"He (Pleasant) usually comes back to Century once a year to make some kind of donation to the community," Jones said. "He will ask me what we need the most and he will always come through for us."
Jones, the dean of students at Carver-Century Elementary School, has known Pleasant since his years roaming the halls of Century schools in the mid 1980s.
"I coached Anthony in basketball at Century High School and we sent him to a couple basketball camps," Jones said.
When Pleasant left Century for college, he attended Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tenn. for four years before being drafted in the 1990 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.
Pleasant played for six teams in his 14-year career and won back-to-back Super Bowls as a member of the New England Patriots in 2001-02. But Jones said the status never went to Pleasant's head.
"He has been coming back ever since he was drafted," Jones said. "He always comes home to help in any way he can."
Jones and Pleasant have kept in contact ever since they met and the two men share a conversation at least once a month. After retiring in 2004, Pleasant moved to North Carolina and is attending college to finish out his degree.
Jones said it feels good to know a member of the Century community has gone on to have so much success.
"It feels great knowing him and the one thing I love the most is that the money he has received has not changed him one bit," Jones said. "He is still the same person I knew back in the '80s. He is all about helping Century and the surrounding area when the community is in need."
And that desire to help others comes from a natural feeling of need.
"I know when I was growing up I wished there was someone to help me out when I needed it," Pleasant said. "And someone always did support me, so I want to do that for other people."
Pleasant said if he is in the position to help out his hometown, he will do so without blinking an eye. And that relationship with Jones will never end.
"Me and coach Jones go way back," Pleasant said. "I started out as the ball boy for the basketball team he coached. And now I just want to help him however I can. I believe it should be a team effort of every person who has left that community and found success. They should all want to come back and help their community after they leave."
This donation has helped the Northview Lady Chiefs feel good while on the court and this has been made possible through the kindness and love of a former citizen. But Jones sums all the emotions and feelings he has for Pleasant into two simple sentences.
"He is a good person," Jones said. "And he is a person who has not forgotten where he came from."
And that good person will continue to come back to and support his hometown of Century, Fla., a town of less than 2,000 people. 4 p.m.