“I worked with Art for about five years there at Hanes Hosiery, and we would go pick up kids in that green van he had so they could come to the recreation center and play basketball,” Torian said. “Then, if we needed to, we would give them rides home because they didn’t have any way of getting home. That’s just the type of guy he was because he put the kids first. He was a special man who will be missed in this city.
“He’s a perfect example of ‘it’s not about when you were born or when you die, it’s about what you do in between.’ And Mr. Art made an impact.”
Randolph Childress, a former All-ACC guard at Wake Forest and assistant basketball coach for the Deacons, didn’t sugarcoat what Blevins meant to the city.
“He’s a freaking hero,” Childress said. “The city should honor him for what he stood for, and he’s far more important than any sports celebrity. He was at ground zero with so many of those kids when they needed him, so we’ve lost a great man.”
Many times over the last several years Blevins would take children to the court after Wake Forest basketball games at Joel Coliseum so they could meet Childress, whose No. 22 is retired and who, like Howard, belongs to Wake Forest’s Sports Hall of Fame.
“Art made sure to catch my eye down on the court, and of course I was going over to talk with him and meet the kids he brought to the games,” Childress said. “We lost a great one and my heart goes out to his family. It’s a sad day for sure.”