When Calais Campbell isn’t busy defending the Arizona Cardinals’ end zone, he takes time to enjoy the active lifestyle the Valley has to offer, play a few pick-up basketball games, and mentor the youth he meets through his organization, The CRC Foundation.
AFM: Do you enjoy living in Arizona?
CC: I really like it. The weather is spectacular. It’s different even though it’s definitely close to where I’m from, which is Denver, Colo., so I like it a lot.
AFM: What do you do in your off time?
CC: I like to go bowling or play laser tag. My brothers and I are pretty active, but as far as Arizona goes, the weather right now is great to do a lot of different things, just being active. One of the places I want to visit is the Grand Canyon. I have yet to go there. I have been to Sedona and that was fun, but I want to go to the Grand Canyon. I need to go.
AFM: You were a star basketball player in high school. Do you still play for leisure?
CC: I play all the time. I’ll just shoot or dribble around, and I love to play in the off-season. It really helps me get ready for football, so that’s fun.
AFM: Ever wonder what it would be like if you pursued basketball professionally instead?
CC: Sometimes. But my sport has always been football. When I think of basketball, I love it. It’s a fun game and I’m good at it, but football is one of the things I knew I wanted to do since I was young. I always remember wanting to be in the NFL.
AFM: Tell us about The CRC Foundation.
CC: The CRC Foundation is based off the principles my father had [taught me]—what our parents modeled to us when we were kids. [He taught us to] help other kids feel privileged and that’s exactly how we can help secure a privileged life and help them figure out what they want to do with their lives and try to help them get there. We’re developing a center and working on different projects. [The CRC Foundation is named after Campbell’s father, Charles Richard Campbell.]
AFM: Are your family members involved in the foundation?
CC: I think my whole family helps. Obviously, a lot of us are very busy, but basically my whole family helps me and the foundation in some way or another. It’s kind of like a family project.
AFM: Any plans for expanding the foundation beyond Arizona?
CC: Right now, Arizona is the focal point because I am around so I can spend time there and get a lot of help from volunteers, and it lets me reach out. But eventually, I want it to be a national foundation and project.
AFM: Outside of your foundation, how do you give back to the community?
CC: I try to get involved in a lot of different things. Either with people I know or other guys in the sports world. I’m always there for people who are involved with different projects. I love to give back. There are other guys in the NFL who love giving back their time to help underprivileged kids. It’s nice to do other stuff as well and make a difference in the world.