Ivan Harris, Chimdi Chekwa Open Tutoring Center

By Kyle Rowland on August 14, 2013 at 8:01a

Former Ohio State basketball and football standouts Ivan Harris and Chimdi Chekwa have continued the Buckeyes' way of Paying It Forward. They recently founded Bucktime Tutoring in Columbus, while Harris is also the CEO of a new group home for boys called Returns, Inc. 

Harris, who earned a degree in sociology at Ohio State, said he started the tutoring organization because of the importance of education. At one time, though, he was just like any other kid — not enthused about school. 

“I didn’t understand. I just wanted to go hang out with friends and do kids stuff. Now I know how important education is. I’m very blessed.”

Bucktime offers tutors for grades K-12 throughout the state and also offers recruiting mentorships with former Ohio State athletes. The group currently has 20 tutors. 

“I always wanted to do some type of tutoring program,” Harris said. “Chimdi also wanted to do something. Mark Johnson, one of my good friends, he’s the one who put everything together. We want to get out and talk to kids. They are our future. We want them to succeed in life.”


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Hovenaut's picture

Always good to read about Buckeye student-athletes making a difference off the field/court.

Best wishes to Ivan and Chimdi, well done Buckeyes.

Baroclinicity's picture


When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Jelligrim's picture

Way to represent The Ohio State University!  Go Bucks!

Jonnferrell's picture

As a teacher, it's great to have influential people outside the profession to encourage young people about their education.  Kids think that teachers only do it because it's their job, but when successful people that they respect encourage them it really helps them to think more than they usually do.  Thanks to those guys for meeting an important need for kids.

"I miss Brady Hoke."

OSUStu's picture

Making the Great State of Ohio Proud

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

Shayla39's picture

This is just a great reflection on these men and their caring about others.
They are being great examples of what it means to "pay forward" and God bless them in this endeavor!  

buckeyeEddie27's picture

This is great.  Ivan has always been a good dude.  Go Bucks!

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

gobucks96's picture

Great role models! They've been in the situation and could end up being huge mentors for these kids.

M Man's picture

What a great story.
You guys ought to be as proud of this, as a conference championship.  Things like this need more front-page coverage.
Now a question.  Chimdi Chekwa basketball ?

gobucks96's picture

Come on, MAN! Chimdi was a corner for the team, and ran track..
I agree with you on how proud I am of this..

buckeyeEddie27's picture

Quick story about Ivan.  
   We were at Springfield North High at the same for a year or two.  So during a "Gym" class I signed up for in what had to be my soph or junior year we were instructed to just "go do something active" in the gym.  (Nice class huh?) some kids tossed a baseball, some played dodge ball, I went looking for the basketballs. If I'm in the gym, on the court and no ones telling me to get off it, I'm shootin' hoops for sure.  So I'm out there hitting free throws and heaving up threes for a while when suddenly I notice another ball arcing towards the hoop. I look to see who the culprit is. (as I was thoroughly enjoying sole ownership of the court and did not want that to end)  Well, turns out it's Ivan, enjoying perks of being a star basketball player and getting in some practice whenever he damn well pleased I assume. 
Now look.  I'm not delusional. I was not good at basketball.  I didn't try out in High School, I was beaten on the regular by my friends who were also no good, and I had the wrong kind of size and no hops  ~but~  if I had one thing going for me it was my jumper.  Not quite silky smooth, but I'd say on par with some quality bed sheets with a nice thread count.  Anyways, I'm there in the gym on the court with Ivan just shooting around.  I get on a heater.  Left wing, inside the three line, just draining them.  Ivan takes notice.  Then delivers me a classic look as if to say "who is this fat white kid burning the nets off?"  I smiled and hit another.  So, after that, shit you not, he grabbed a few rebounds and passed me some balls from under the hoop.  Coolest dude ever.  He probably wouldn't remember this if I asked him but I don't care.  He was a star player who could have just as easily been a total dick to a dork acting like he was good at basketball but didn't, he was cool.  I'm glad to see he's not lost that humility about him.  Go Ivan, Go Bucks.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

Nick's picture

Mark Johnson, the LB from LA?

Mirror Lake Jump's picture

Love hearing about Buckeyes succeeding in life after football.

mtharp's picture

Tatgate, Hitting a bouncer, pushing an attacking girl, ect.... 
Days and months of non stop updates and media bonanza.  
Two players changing the world for the better.  Merely a blip on the screen. Sad state of the world we live in.  But, 16 more days!

Buckeyejason's picture

THIS is what it's all about!