Building Blocks youth program services K-12th grade. Our programs support students during out-of-school time. As part of our work to develop the many talents of our children, we partner with community-based organizations to provide enrichment programs.


We aim to build and enhance students academic experiences during out of school time. Our mission is as follows: 


To provide an enrichment, connection to community and empowerment to youth living in and around the Near North Minneapolis and surrounding areas.


Our Founder 



Founder & Executive Director








Born in 1977 in Minneapolis, Devean attended high school at Benilde-St. Margaret’s and went on to become a standout basketball player at Augsburg College. During his college career, he was named Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player for two consecutive years (1997-98 and 1998-99) and finished his college career with 2,258 points and 868 rebounds. In 1999, he made history when he became the first-ever NCAA Division III basketball player selected in the first round (23rd overall pick) of the NBA draft. Throughout his 11-year career in the NBA, Devean played for the Los Angeles Lakers (with whom he won three NBA Championships), the Dallas Mavericks, and the Golden State Warriors.


Off the court, Devean has long devoted a great deal of his time and energy to numerous charitable organizations focused on families, education and children. For six years, he was a sponsor of the Minnesota-based program, Why Can’t I Go?, which provided underprivileged students with travel-based educational opportunities. Twice each season, he would fly 10 participants and their chaperones to Los Angeles and provide them with hotel accommodations, tickets to a Lakers game, and a visit to Disneyland. Devean served as a positive example to these children and inspired them to continue to excel in life. He continued his charitable involvement upon arriving in Dallas. As a member of the Mavericks organization, he gave his time and funds to Buckner International, an organization which provides material and personal support to children who find themselves in harmful settings such as orphanages, impoverished households, and violent or abusive environments. In addition to this organization, Devean informally “adopted” five families each holiday season and provided each with a Christmas that would have been impossible without his generosity. In 2009, he enjoyed his most gratifying experience in life by becoming a father for the first time with the birth of his son, Logan.


Now retired from the NBA, Devean remains committed to positively impacting the North Minneapolis community that shaped who he is today. His desire to give back was the driving force behind the formation of George Group North, his real-estate company specializing in multifamily residential development, mixed-use projects, and property redevelopment and management, and its charitable subsidiary, Building Blocks, which is focused on mentorship programming, affordable housing, and sustainable community development. Devean serves as President and CEO of George Group North, and Executive Director of Building Blocks.






Youth Program Director

Commons at Penn

Myron Green

Youth Program Assistant Director

Commons at Penn

Tonya Turner

Youth Program Manager

Commons at Penn

Kimberly Holifield

Youth Outreach Coordinator

Commons at Penn

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