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Shaneika Dabney

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Heartwarming Children's Book Based on Saints' Marques Colston

Posted: 10/18/2011 11:29 am


New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston didn't earn the nickname "The Quiet Storm" because he likes to "make it rain" at the club. In fact, "clubbing it" is probably the last thing one would associate with the NFL star. He is a certified shy guy who would love nothing more than to stay out of the spotlight while taking care of business for his team on the football field. Imagine that?

This ever-humble NFL anomaly inspired his business manager and personal friend to write a book that he hopes will inspire sportsmanship and compassion in an age of bullying and showboating run amok. It's called Young Marques Becomes a Quiet Storm and it is based on the Saints player's childhood and the lessons he learned from his dad. Author Michael Harris, who first connected with Marques 6 years ago when he was an aspiring NFL player at Hofstra University, says he hopes the book will show kids that if they are patient and hardworking, success will be their reward.

"There were a lot of athletes who made books after the Super Bowl but none of them made books for the children. Because of Marques' heart and how he influenced me, I thought it was an ideal time to do the book."

The book tells the story of a little boy named Marques who gets teased by an older kid. Young Marques' father teaches him how to be strong and respectful of others, no matter how close he gets to the top. The book's premise is based on real life lessons Marques Colston learned from his dad James, who passed away when he was still young. Harris says James Colston's influence on his son was so powerful, it inspired in him a desire to pass on those same lessons to his three kids.

His dad was very important to him and taught him everything he knows about football. (James Colston) became a hero to me when Marques told me stories about how he raised him. I looked at Marques' father like this fantasy figure that taught him great values and great life lessons.

While the book is Harris' brainchild, he ran things past Marques as the story came together. Colston also wrote the book's forward, in which he talks about the significant impact his parents had on his life. He not only hopes the book will resonate with young kids but that it will help a cause near and dear to him as a player for the Saints: disaster relief for the American Red Cross. Marques joined the team one year after Hurricane Katrina and he witnessed the storm's devastating effects. He, along with his teammates, have played an instrumental role in New Orleans' recovery. That's why it was important to both he and Harris that portions of the proceeds from the book go toward disaster relief.

Harris says he hopes his book will give kids better ways to deal with their emotions and express themselves. He also says children of all ages can learn a lot from how "young" and "big" Marques handle success.

"When Marques catches a football, you don't see him doing anything to draw attention to himself. He just hands the ball over to the refs. The lesson in this book is that when you succeed, act like you've been there before. You don't have to put people down to make yourself feel good."

As for Marques' reaction to his manager deciding to make him the subject of a kids' book, Harris describes it as "classic Colston."

"We're really close so he loved the idea but he didn't know if I was serious. A lot of people don't know about Marques. He's a humble guy. He doesn't want attention brought to him in any way but he loves kids and he loves the idea of giving back and helping children."

Young Marques Becomes a Quiet Storm is now available on Amazon.com.

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