Ashraf Amaya is no stranger to Ascension Parish. Ashraf attended Ascension school through 7th grade. At Walther Lutheran High School, Ashraf played basketball and went on to star at Southern Illinois University. A star forward on the Washington Wizards, Ashraf helped lead his team to the playoffs for the first time in nearly 20 years. He continued to play professionally in the NBA and other organizations in the US and overseas. In the midst of a busy professional career, Ashraf found time to visit local schools and encourage young people to read. After retiring from professional basketball, he began his own company where he mentors, trains, and coaches youth and adults. In both Will and Cook County, Ashraf has worked with youth offenders by providing counseling and group sessions on life skills training, conflict resolution, time management, and discipline through athletics. Through his professional and personal relationships, Ashraf has been exposed to a variety of spiritual paths. A life long Catholic, he recently began to pray the Divine Mercy chaplet and decided this was the time to complete his initiation through Confirmation. And he decided to do this at “home,” as he likes to call Ascension where he was baptized and received his First Communion. “Ashraf” means humble and is an excellent descriptor for him. Welcome back and congratulations!