Al Lucas Memorial Scholarship Fund
The family of Al Lucas established a scholarship fund in his name at the Community Foundation of Central Georgia to memorialize the late football star. The Al Lucas Memorial Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to graduating scholar athletes from Bibb county’s public high schools that have athletic programs.
Al Lucas was an outstanding scholar athlete and honor student at Northeast High School, who went on to play football on a full scholarship at Troy State University. He became a defensive lineman for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and later for the AFL’s Los Angeles Avengers. While playing professional football, Lucas was named an assistant coach at Northeast, where he encouraged his young protégées to excel in all areas of life. Lucas died as a result of a spinal injury while making a tackle during an AFL game on April 10, 2005. In the days immediately following his death, Al’s family searched for a way to bring some good out of the tragedy.
“You don’t ever get over it, but you try to do something that will help other kids as an outcome of what he did,” Mr. David Lucas said. Because of Al’s work with young people, the Lucas’s thought of starting a fund that would be advantageous to youth in the community. “Then we looked for the folks who would do it right, and we went to the Community Foundation,” Mr. Lucas said. “And they did it just right.”
The Al Lucas scholarship application calls for students with a caring attitude, high moral character, and characteristics of positive leadership and citizenship. Al Lucas’ widow, De’Shonda, said she sees her late husband in each successful applicant’s essay. “When I read their letters, they remind me so much of him with their thoughts, their beliefs, and their perseverance,” she said. “It meant the world to Al, being an assistant coach at Northeast. He wanted the kids to grow, to be well-rounded, and not just as athletes. He’d tell them, ‘go get your paper done,’ and ‘pull up your pants.’ He saw sports at the next level, but the next level didn’t have to be sports.”
Al was known for telling his athletes, “stay involved in a whole lot of something, and that will keep you from becoming involved in a whole lot of nothing.” The Lucas Family is pleased that through this scholarship fund, Al’s concern for young people will continue over the years to touch an ever-widening circle of young lives.