‘You can become anything you want’: Ed Cooley is proof that there’s no limit to dreams

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Providence College men’s basketball head coach Ed Cooley is the ultimate success story.

Growing up in South Providence between Prairie Avenue and Broad Street, he didn’t have much.

“There were tough times with no food, no lights. There weren’t a lot of mentors to look up to. Education wasn’t the highest priority, survival was,” he said.Cooley knew he couldn’t do it on his own. He would need help and he’d have to ask for it.

“One of the biggest programs I got was other people’s families. That was one of the greatest support groups,” Cooley explained.That push got him through his days at Sackett Street Elementary to the halls of Central High School. He found refuge in playing sports. Whether it was the Elmwood Little League, Edgewood Eagles, or going to the local Boys and Girls Club to play basketball.“We can talk about the bad times, but in those bad times, that is what allowed me to become the man I am today,” he said.Cooley shares his journey to success as a way to help others. He is the featured speaker at this year’s Investing in Our Children Luncheon for Children’s Friend on Oct. 21, which will be emceed by ABC 6’s Doreen Scanlon. CEO David Caprio said this is where Cooley can make all the difference, as they aim to provide opportunities for all children, no matter the zip code.“We’re going to be sitting in the neighborhood, right in the neighborhood where he started. This is what we’re looking for — looking for the next coach Cooley out of the south side of Providence,” Caprio said.Cooley is proof that there is no limit to dreams.“If I can become the Providence College head basketball coach, you can become anything you want,” Cooley said.

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