OUR AMAZING BOARD
Believe Foundation is committed to investing our expertise and resources to further achieve our vision. Since 2014, we’ve been supporting the youth of our community in a variety of ways. We measure our success not by our monetary size, but by more valuable measurements such as the effectiveness of our efforts.
IMAGINE WHAT WE CAN ACCOMPLISH TOGETHER!
Gregory C. Smith
Founder / Board President
Musician / Music Producer / Sports Director / Youth Mentor
Being raised as the son of one of South Los Angeles longest-serving Ministers, Greg credits this strong influence, sports and music to be the defining forces in his life. Growing up playing drums at his father's church, he was surrounded by a loving family of talented performers and community servants, where he thrived.
As a child, he witnessed daily destruction and death brought on by gang violence. As an adult, Greg is committed to being a strong force of positive change in these communities. He is passionate about the fact that ALL children deserve hope and a chance for a better future.
Majoring in Television and Music at Whittier College, his musical talents landed him on tour with a Grammy Award-winning Gospel Artist. After touring the world, Gregory formed a band that took second place on Dick Clark's ABC special Battle of the Bands. Through this amazing experience, he earned the interest of legendary Entertainment Mogul, Dick Clark, who took Greg under his wing for 2 years and served as his mentor. His guidance was immeasurable.
After two decades of performing and producing music, he became dedicated to paying it forward by teaching at charter schools and after-school programs. It was here that he really saw the overwhelming need to help the youth in these communities. From this drive, he created the B-Ballers Hoop School using sports to teach real-life lessons. This experience was so gratifying that he continues to grow this basketball camp today, reaching into as many communities as possible, to continue to impact the lives of these inner-city children.
Through these life experiences, he became inspired to pay it forward and address the desperately rising need looming over our inner-cities. Through this inspiration, he created the BELIEVE Foundation. His mission, to inspire our youth through Sports, Music and The Arts.
Director of Philanthropy
Former NBA Player
Olden Polynice has had a rewarding 15 year NBA career also a successful coaching and training career and brings a wealth of knowledge to players of all levels.
Polynice attended the University of Virginia from 1983 to 1986. He left in 1986 to play professional basketball in Italy. After a year overseas, Polynice was the 8th overall pick by the Chicago Bulls in the 1987 NBA draft. Polynice established himself as one of the league's unforgettable players. He played for the Seattle Supersonics (twice), Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers (twice), Sacramento Kings, and the Detroit Pistons during his 15-year career.
Polynice played in 1,059 NBA games, including 22 playoff games. His career highs include 30 points and 25 rebounds, recognized as a top rebounder and defender. Polynice ranked in the top 15 in rebounding for eight years after becoming a regular starter in 1991, leading to top 3 ranking in 1993. Polynice credits hard work, dedication, attention to detail, and high pain tolerance for the 15 years in the NBA.
Post-NBA, Polynice started his own basketball training company called NextStar Basketball in 2005. He has trained and coached over 200 High School, College, and pro players since. Polynice has also served as an assistant coach for the Michigan Mayhem of the CBA and New Orleans Hornets summer league entry, as well as head coach for the Long Beach Breakers of the ABA. Polynice has provided leadership and mentorship to players by being an excellent communicator as well as his ability to scout and develop talent. Polynice is currently an NBA analyst for FoxSports as well as the head coach of the SoCal Moguls in The Basketball League.
Dr. Sharon R. Elefant, DHA, CIH, MHA
Board Chairman / Executive Director
Nonprofit & Education Consultant
Dr. Sharon Elefant consults with nonprofits to develop their organizational and administrative infrastructure, strategic vision, and implementation plans, fund and growth development, and relationship cultivation. Additionally, she is adjunct faculty for Central Michigan University, Florida International University, and Pacific Oaks College specializing in health care business curriculum, supporting academic excellence in student advising, mentoring and internship programs at the undergraduate and graduate level.
Board Chairman / Secretary
Vice President of Operations, BBallers Hoops
Demetra brings her expertise in organizing and working with youth to the board. As VP of Operations for Ballers Hoops for the last 4 years, she oversees and manages all administration and programming. She also is a Sports and Nutrition Coach who works with children as young as preschool age to senior adults. After spending nearly a decade of teaching in public and private schools, Demetra is a motivator who knows what it takes to inspire others to be their best selves. In addition to teaching children, she uses her expertise in fitness to help adults reach their health and wellness goals.
Demetra holds a BS degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Physical Education from California State University Long Beach. She also holds certifications in Fitness Nutrition and Senior Fitness from the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Dr. Daniel E Walker, PhD
Professor / Writer / Filmmaker / Motivational Speaker
Dr. Daniel E. Walker is a scholar, filmmaker, social entrepreneur, and dynamic speaker. He is also the Board Chair of the BLU Educational Foundation. This agency leads the fight to develop organic community leadership and to increase the college graduation rates in students of color. Dr. Walker is a Research Associate at the University of Southern California's Center for Religion and Civic Culture. Being a History Professor at El Camino College, and Founding Director of the Long Beach Indie International Film Festival are amongst a few of his many achievements.
Music Educator at USC / Grammy Award Winner
A widely recognized music industry professional for over thirty years. Along the way, Jeffrey Weber's projects have yielded two Grammy’s, seven Grammy nominations, at least seventeen top ten albums, two number one albums and an assortment of other honors. His specialties are record label business model re-definition, A&R, Music Supervision for film and TV, Music Production, Interactive Programming, Marketing, Sales, Digital Distribution, Business Affairs, International Relations, Art Direction & Educator.
Music Educator at UCLA / Emmy Award Winner
Sean Holt's creative direction has provided Emmy Award-winning music and sound design for over 1,400 nationally broadcasted commercials and television programs, as well as content for live events and numerous recording artists. Vice President, Al Gore, and Live Aid creator, Kevin Wall, contracted Sean to provide the international broadcast theme music for “Live Earth – A Climate in Crisis.” Over 2 billion people on seven continents heard over 70 pieces during what was the world's largest television simulcast in history.