Hip-hop Legend Warren G Treats SBVC Football Players Struggling During Pandemic to Barbecue Feast

PUBLISHED: May 17, 2020 at 3:11 p.m. | UPDATED: May 18, 2020 at 8:43 a.m.

SAN BERNARDINO – DeJuan Moon came back for seconds, heaping his foam clamshell container with chicken thighs, beef ribs, macaroni and cheese and baked beans. It would disappear into Moon’s 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame as quick as it appeared.

And as soon as any of the items disappeared off the foil containers, more reappeared. Because no containers and no trays were allowed to stay empty for long. And no San Bernardino Valley College football players were allowed to leave hungry.

“Take more. We’ve got plenty,” boomed a familiar voice from behind a large barbecue trailer. The voice, along with the barbecue trailer attached to a pickup, belonged to rapper Warren Griffin III — better known as Warren G — who spent his Saturday afternoon feeding SBVC football players the best meal most of them had since the coronavirus pandemic shut the world down.

For at least one day, one of the architects behind the hip-hop masterpiece “Regulate” was going to eliminate the hunger of college students – some of whom were marooned thousands of miles away from home.

Griffin heard about the situation from SBVC assistant coach Merle Cole Jr., the former Long Beach Poly mainstay and mentor to the likes of former Jackrabbits football standouts Leonard Russell, Hershel Dennis, Chris Lewis, DeSean Jackson and Darrell Rideaux, among hundreds of others. Griffin and Cole go back more than 30 years and talk every week.

When Cole told Griffin that coaches were buying their players groceries -– when they weren’t standing in food-bank lines -– Cole said the next words out of Griffin’s mouth were, “Hell, no. I’ve got to do something for these guys. Can you make it happen?”

Cole, along with SBVC head coach Daniel Algattis, made it happen. Algattis said Cole called him and texted him at 6:02 a.m. on a recent morning to explain his plan. Algattis said after calling SBVC athletic director Dave Rubio and explaining how this could happen “in a responsible way,” Rubio signed on. Within an hour, Algattis had the approval of SBVC president Diana Rodriguez.

“We have a food bank on campus that does a great job helping out our students in general, and thank goodness we have that,” Algattis said. “Warren said he has this barbecue rig and some food and let’s get some things together and help some families in the area. Let’s start with your team and your boys.”

Along with the barbecue trailer, Griffin came with 50 pounds of chicken, 40 pounds of beef flank and short ribs and mountains of beans and mac-and-cheese. He also came armed with a foodie’s nature instilled by his father, a former Navy cook who spent his off time creating dishes. 
Enough of the spices rubbed off on Griffin, because he created his own barbecue business, Sniffin’ Griffin’s BBQ, that keeps him occupied when he’s not touring or in the studio. Cole said Griffin was so eager to help that he volunteered to drive his barbecue rig to individual homes. 

Article from the San Bernardino Sun by Brian Robin