Challenge #1 has a [special] place in my heart. Not only did I get to start off my year with Challenge Detroit on an awesome Sports Development team, but I got to see the project grow from its inception, all the way through to its celebratory pizza party last weekend. Our first challenge partner was MACC Development. My team, composed of Alex Mayo, Kelsey Hubble, and Michael Swafford, was tasked with creating a basketball league and using community feedback to identify unmet recreational needs for this neighborhood. At the end of 5 weeks we had completed a guide for MACC Sports that laid out a 10-week basketball league structure including [roles and responsibilities] necessary for carrying out games and practices, possible [court] venues, and [fundraising] strategies. Post deliverable deadline, I kept in contact with the Director of Youth & Education, Charles Johns, and Assistant Program Manager, Kaitlyn Meister, hoping that the league would take form in the near future and that I could have a part in it.

Weeks later, I attended a [coaches] meeting and signed on as co-head coach of the Lakers youth basketball team for the first ever MACC Sports Basketball League. I gathered with my team every Wednesday for practice at an old Salvation Army building that house a tiny court, beginning each session with a warm up, then a gospel reflection period, then skills and drills, and always ending with the much hated suicide runs. On Saturdays I didn’t have classes, I would cheer them on from the side line, always encouraging a [pass] whenever possible. #boysareballhogs

Story of season:  On the day of our forth game, one of my players was misinformed about the time of our game. He showed up at the third quarter of game, thinking he was early to warm up for the next game slot. Short on players that day, we instantly got him in the game for the remaining time. At the final whistle though, [tears] welled in his eyes. He was so disappointed that he had missed the other three quarters of playing time. His mother also held back tears as she explained that this was the highlight of his week. In fact, it was she rewarded him with for completing his homework and assignments during a game week. I clutched my chest, my heart aching for this boy who valued this league more than anything else in his weekly schedule. This was the moment I [truly] realized that these organized programs were worth more to these kids than we might not ever understand- no matter how small or dirty the gym, deflated the balls, or skewed the teams were. To them it was all about having the opportunity to play, learn, and maybe make a friend in the process.

#Play #Give #Lead #Live #Detroit