PLYMOUTH — New Patriot Kendrick Bourne is wasting no time in getting involved with the Greater Boston community.
The wide receiver spent Thursday at the Pinehills Golf Club, testing his skills at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts’ 46th annual Golf Classic. Bourne, one of the key offseason additions for the Patriots, will join the local nonprofit as an honorary board member for the upcoming year.
“I just feel like I connect well with kids because of the situations I’ve been through in my youth,” he said. “I want people to know that I want to give back.”
Accompanying Bourne Thursday was his oldest brother, Andrew, along with his agents Henry Organ and Hector Rivas. The foursome, all relatively new to the sport, bantered in between their shots, engaging in friendly trash talk and only shouting, “Fore!” a couple of times.
The event will be the first of many for Bourne, who, in his role as an honorary board member, will be assisting with the organization’s mentor-matches as well as fund-raising and recruiting efforts.
The opportunity represents a chance for the 25-year-old Bourne to pay it forward in honor of the mentorship he received growing up in Portland, Ore. Among those to have a memorable impact were his high school coach Don Johnson, his father, and his own “big brother” Andrew.
“I had a bumpy road throughout high school and coming out of high school,” said Andrew. “I made some bad decisions that made me have to come back home. I ended up helping raise [my younger brothers] and guide them in the right direction.”
At the time when Andrew returned home, Kendrick was 13, a formative age of adolescence.
“I was able to be home for him at that crucial time,” Andrew said. “He got into trouble, still. Throughout high school, he still had some issues.
“Finally, his senior year, he decided to turn it around and take heed to what we were saying. Once he did that, everything just started changing. He started seeing that by doing good, you reap the benefits — and the negative stuff that he was doing has negative consequences. He finally put two and two together.”
Now, Bourne hopes to serve as that same positive influence for children that are in similar situations but may not have access to a strong support system. He expressed an eagerness to have honest conversations and aid with their decision-making processes.
Andrew is still a key figure in Bourne’s life, as he manages the family’s Bourne Blessed Foundation. Both Andrew and their middle brother, Evans, will be living with Bourne in Foxborough.
“My brother was definitely a big part of my growth,” Bourne said. “My brother really was just the guy. I learned from his experience. He learned from his experiences growing up and didn’t let me stray away from my goals in life, both for football and in all aspects, really. I’m just grateful to have a brother like that.”
Nicole Yang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.