Ralph Sanders, a former collegiate basketball player based in Northern California, has been through more than his share of life-changing ordeals. After hearing about his upbringing, his brushes with the law, his abusive relationship that nearly derailed his life, and the relentless online bullying and slander that he suffered, it’s easy to ask how one man can overcome so much.
But rather than succumb to temptation, give up on his dreams, or allow anyone to change the course of his life, Ralph Sanders has relied on his faith to lift him up through the turmoil. Sanders’ faith has guided him to a higher path, and he uses his experiences to educate and guide others in avoiding all that he has endured.
Now happily married with a young daughter, Ralph Sanders works as a youth counselor, author, and inspirational speaker. Sanders and his family are active in their community and church, and Sanders speaks at many Sacramento-area high schools, working directly with at-risk adolescents. But perhaps the greatest impact that Ralph Sanders makes is at his Christian-based youth outreach program, Juveniles At Risk (JAR), where he counsels 15 to 17-year-olds who are most likely to fall through the cracks of society. At JAR, these youths are given resources to complete their high school diplomas or GEDs and receive job training for maintenance and construction careers.
Now in his 50s, Ralph Sanders is the picture of a model citizen. He is bright, enthusiastic, and genuine, and has made community service and giving back the top priority in his life. As someone who received a second chance at happiness, he is determined to help others reach their full potential. He works with teens and adults to overcome their cyberbullying experiences, as well as identify troubling relationship patterns; he also regularly visits halfway houses for ex-convicts, working with them to turn their lives around.
In addition to his one-on-one work within Sacramento, Ralph Sanders has written four books detailing his experiences: “Halftime Hustler,” “Held Hostage,” “Break Loose,” and “Meet Me Halfway.” Each book focuses on a different struggle in his life, and how faith was the answer and the solution that propelled him forward.
But Ralph Sanders was not always the “gentle giant” that he is now. At 6’6” and with a natural talent for basketball, he was given the opportunity of a partial scholarship to Foothill College. Coming from a large family without a father figure, Ralph Sanders struggled in school and with what direction to take his life. While basketball could have been a door to success, for Sanders it instead was a source of great temptation; spending time at local universities exposed him to material items and lavish lifestyles that he came to covet. This introduction to things he felt were beyond his reach, led to the darkest time in his life.
While spending time incarcerated, Ralph Sanders turned to God for help. He was released as a changed man, and he has never looked back; instead, he “lives his best life now.” Despite additional personal setbacks in the years since, Sanders has remained steadfast in his commitment to God and to living a life based in positivity.
To know Ralph Sanders today is to know a talented public speaker, a successful actor in commercials, an active father who enjoys basketball and skiing, and a spiritual advisor who leads by example. Rather than hide from his checkered past, Sanders embraces it, using it to inspire others to change their lives and never give up. With his warm, welcoming demeanor and sincere desire to help those in need, Sanders has come a long way since the days he wrote about in his books.
If you’d like to learn more about Ralph Sanders or schedule a book signing or speaking engagement, you can visit his website at www.halftimehustler.com.
And remember, “Keep the faith and NEVER GIVE UP!”