SAN ANTONIO -- Retired Piston's player Isiah Lord Thomas, named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, took the time to pass along his secret to success off and on the court when he visited kids at the MLK Academy in San Antonio.

“There were people who took time out for me, not knowing what I would grow up to be,” said Thomas. “They donated their time and would pat me on the back and give me advice along the way."

That’s just what the retired Piston did Monday for local boys and girls. Thomas discussed obstacles that he had to overcome, growing up one of nine children by a single mother in Chicago.

"Poverty was the biggest one,” said Thomas. “We grew up so poor. There was the poverty line and then the line below poverty.”

KENS 5 Reporter Karen Grace talks with NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas.

The non-profit Icon to Ican welcomed the Hall of Famer, who was able to achieve his childhood goal of playing in the NBA. The philanthropist and businessman emphasize the importance of higher education.

“I graduated from Indiana and I got my Masters from U.C. Berkeley,” Thomas said.

Thomas also touched on the current racial tension in America and how being kind is a solution.

“It’s important for all of us to be servants in the community,” he said. “Be kind to one another while we deal with racial strife and tensions in our society.”