A.J. Custis provides security to NBA’s Wizards

April 20, 2022
AJ Custis, Kathy Custis

Pictured: A.J. Custis, at far left, hosted five Boys & Girls Club members recently at an NBA game in Washington, D.C. Pictured from left are Custis, Kathy Custis, Morgan, Jacob, Cameron, Noah, Deshawn and Brock Custis. 

By Bill Sterling

Five Eastern Shore Boys & Girls Club members recently enjoyed an NBA game thanks to tickets provided by A.J. Custis, who handles security for the personnel of the Washington Wizards. 

Custis, the son of Kathy Custis, director of the Eastern Shore Boys & Girls Club, once worked as security for five-time NBA all-star guard John Wall, but now travels with the Wizards and oversees security for the players and other team personnel. He goes with Washington’s players to interviews and photo shoots, community events, autograph signings and travels with them to games, sitting directly behind the head coach.

A Boys & Girls Club member celebrates a basket with the Wizards mascot at an NBA game attended by five local members

Custis, 35, who is 6’4”, played football at both Virginia State and Morgan State, but might be best remembered on the Eastern Shore for a shot he made to send Nandua to the state championship game in 2003, which they won.

With only three seconds to play and having possesion of the ball in the semi-final game and the Warriors down by a point to Altavista, everyone in the building expected Nandua star B.A. Walker to take the last shot, but with Walker well defended, Custis found himself on the baseline with the ball. He took a 12-foot shot that rolled around the rim and fell in as the buzzer sounded, giving Nandua a one-point win that was celebrated wildly on the court. Two days later the Warriors defeated Radford for the second of their two consecutive state basketball championships under Coach Buck Boggs. 

“That will be a memory I will definitely have forever,” said Custis.

The five Boys & Girls Club members, ranging from 8 to 15 years old, were also making memories as they were attending their first professional game when they traveled north to Washington, D.C. to the Capital One Arena, home of the Wizards.

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Custis said the Boys & Girls Club members attending the game were well behaved. “I think they had a marvelous time, sitting close to the court and being able to interact with the team mascot and seeing the players close-up. It was a pleasure hosting them.”

Now that the Wizards season is over, Custis will spend a month in Miami providing personal security for Wizards young star Rui Hachimura, a first-round draft pick out of Gonzaga. “He’s like a brother to me,” said Custis, who said it’s good to stay in one place for a while after a season of 82 games that involved thousands of miles by plane for the 41 road games.

But one of the real treats for Custis in hosting the game was to see his actual brother, Brock, and his mother Kathy, who accompanied the Boys & Girls Club members to the game. Brock runs the food program for the Boys & Girls Club and mentors teens in the club. 

“I don’t get the opportunity to come home much because of the demands of being at every game and providing security, so it was great seeing them,” said Custis, who noted he missed seeing his father Al, who wasn’t able to attend due to health issues. 

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