Born during a snowstorm, I made my first touchdown at Bellevue Hospital on January 12th, 1975. “Showtime” was born in Manhattan and raised in The Bronx and Harlem. I was surrounded by the love and support of my mother, April Tolliver, and an extended bonus family that took turns imprinting hard work, dedication, toughness, and familial love into my DNA.
Always placed in the “gifted” classes, I entered Brooklyn Tech in the summer of 1989 and graduated in 1993. During my tenure at Tech, I majored in Architecture where I was a member of “Kappa House”.
As a freshman I was asked to play both wide receiver and quarterback on offense. I loved returning kicks and punts and although listed as a strong safety my favorite position on defense was free safety. I won rookie of the year as a freshman and after a pretty good junior year was honored as the “Underclassmen of the Year”. That year sparked the beginning of several accolades including 2-time Newsday All-City, 2-time All Brooklyn, 2-time Brooklyn Big 44 and I played in the second annual PSAL All Star Game. After sitting out a year of school due to a coaching shuffle at Michigan State and Virginia, I walked onto the football program at Morgan State University (Baltimore, MD). I played three years at Morgan with my final two seasons under the head coach and former NFL running back Stump Mitchell and the late former NFL defensive back Andre Waters. A knee injury cut my junior year short and by the start of my senior season my knee did not respond to the treatment and therapy thus ending my collegiate career.
While majoring in Sociology I earned my minor in Criminal Justice and began a professional career serving adjudicated teens while working in a group home in West Baltimore. The passion for working with the underserved and the underprivileged has been a constant in my life. I have maintained my connection to the community by working for a private non-profit in Springfield Gardens, NY that operates two Close to Home group homes (adjudicated teen males) and one foster care group home for youth sex offenders. My current title is Preparing Youth for Adulthood Coordinator, and the main function is to literally prepare youth for adulthood by teaching employment readiness skills, financial literacy, serving as our community school liaison while also holding the position of Job Coach for foster care youth in the community. Additionally, I am certified to provide individual and group Home and Community-Based Services/Children and Family Treatment and Support Services to diagnosed youth in the community and am a member of each programs’ treatment team as well as the Leadership team.
I currently reside in East Orange, NJ with my wife Tene’ Oliver. We have a family of four children Shayal, Jair, Laila, and Victoria.