Amati is one of the busiest people you’ll meet—no exaggeration. In addition to his job as a desk clerk and his music projects, both of which help pay the bills, he’s also a community organizer and a coach co-running a brand new basketball team for San Francisco youth.
Last fall, with several friends and fellow organizers, Amati co-produced Stop The Violence, a huge event in the heart of the Tenderloin that was aimed at making a community commitment to end gun violence. They blocked off Jones from Market to Ellis and filled the street with merch booths and free barbeque—“if you came, you ate.” They had planned a stacked lineup of local musicians, but the day before, the city revoked their sound permit. While this was a major disappointment to Amati and the other organizers, they managed to pull off a successful event in spite of the roadblock.
In an effort to keep the spirit of Stop The Violence going, Amati started an independent youth basketball team. Several youth signed up at the event and from that, Amati and a few fellow coaches created the San Francisco All Stars. In order to play, you have to be in high school, and you have to start with at least a 2.0 GPA (the minimum GPA to play at SF’s public schools is a 2.5). In order to stay on the team, you have to show that your grades are improving. As Amati describes the SF All Stars, it “isn’t just basketball, it’s actually a program.” Amati also tries to help players get jobs if they want to work. In his words, “We’re doing a lot for them. We go out of our way.”
“My kids! Period. That’s what brings me joy. Every day that’s what I do this for. I’m talking about all of ‘em. My real ones and my 24 fosters.” -Amati, ATC Client for 5 years
Currently, Amati and his fellow coaches fund the team with any spare income that they can pool. They’ve also received generous donations from a few local organizations. Amati is working on building relationships with more companies and local entities that might support the program. His goal is that, someday, they will have a team in each neighborhood of San Francisco.
His dream likely isn’t far off because their team is doing extremely well. Both the Junior Varsity and Varsity teams are playing all over California and winning. In the near future, Amati wants to host a San Francisco All Stars tournament, complete with registration booths and team applications, as well as a variety of vendors. From this tournament, he says, they’ll build towards another Stop The Violence event next fall. This time, he hopes, at Bill Graham and complete with a full concert lineup.
On top of all that? Amati is a dedicated father to three children—who are, in Amati’s words, the people he does all of these amazing projects for. Listen to Amati describe his kids and what he likes to do with them in their (very limited) free time.