The Hoops and Hope Tour headed to NYC last week and we did two camps. Thursday, the 18th was in the Bronx, NY and Friday, the 19th was in Brooklyn.
Like in the other cities, the staff was ready to greet us upon arrival. We unloaded our stuff and prepared for the day.
Anthony Johnson is the club director there. What an inspirational leader they have in the Bronx. Anthony was born in Harlem, but moved to San Diego and grew up there. He played Division I football at Oregon State, but eventually made his way back to the east coast. The kids in the Bronx could not be luckier.
Anthony’s message to us was twofold. First, he was passionate about the role sports can play in the lives of youths. He said they have many kids at the club growing up in single parent homes. Anthony is convinced that no matter the circumstances sports is the great equalizer. Kids can learn the skills they need to succeed in life by getting on the court and playing. Secondly, he believed whole heartedly in making every day at the club seem like a day at Disney World. You see, Disney World is renowned for customer service and organization that refuses to allow anyone to have a bad day (as long as you don’t check your bank account statement while you’re there). He hired staff who saw the challenges of working with kids as fun. He wanted the kids and staff excited to come to the club every day, much like they would be if they were heading to Disney World.
And trust me, for the day we were there that is how it felt. Their staff was on top of things, and helped out any way they could. The kids revered their athletic director, Marcus, who was instrumental in making the camp a success.
We learned a lot that day in the Bronx. No matter where you live or what your circumstances are, good leadership and positive people will ensure kids of all backgrounds have a chance to reach their potential and live the lives they dream of.
I guess that is what the Hoops and Hope Tour is all about.