My name is Brian Smith, resident of Denver, Colorado. I have been traveling around South and East Africa since May of 2010. My mission is to try and teach local children in different communities my passion, Basketball. Thus far my goal has been to seek out different towns with a good location to build a basketball hoop and if space provides, a court. The materials consist of basketball rims which I collected from donors in Denver and carried with me to Africa, as well as a properly sized post usually purchased within the area. Once the hoop is built and it is successfully cemented in, I begin looking for players to teach. Many kids are interested in learning and gladly come everyday after school to learn basic skills.
Once the players have learned the basics, I put together some sort of tournament, in which the winner of the tournament receives sponsorship from me to pay for school tuition, books, etc. I also buy athletic shoes for the winners so that they can continue to play the game with the right equipment. I want to teach the importance of working with a team, responsibility, and dedication. It is also gives the students something to look forward to, and helps them to utilize their time doing something constructive. Finally, I want to give them something to be passionate about. Basketball changed my life growing up and allowed me to focus my attentions in school and sports. My ultimate goal with this project is to get as many kids into the game as possible. Hopefully, I will be able to peak the interest of a few, who will continue to progress and allow basketball to change THEIR lives as well.
This is not about finding the next Dikembe Mutombo, Manute Bol or Serge Ibaka. I do however hope that there is a child someplace that will get a better education due to his skills in basketball.
This is a small, humble project, but hopefully with time the seeds we plant now will flower into something bigger than that allows me to visit more parts of the world and spread the game with better hoops, courts, and equipment for the aspiring athletes.