A nonprofit organization
Basketball Charities is an inter-city program serving the at-risk youth community and aims to teach essential life skills to support children in becoming healthy, successful, and community-oriented individuals through the sport of basketball. Our goal is to expand our program across the state of Illinois so that nearly every community with a professional basketball team has access to our program.
Basketball is a universal sport - it speaks a language everyone understands. Basketball holds the power to unite and give children opportunities to learn and grow. Through practice and playing on a team, children are able to learn about communication and cooperation. Through mastering a particular basketball skill, making a bad pass, or losing a game, children learn about resiliency in life, regrouping, and not giving up. We have seen, firsthand, that one game of basketball can teach a lifetime of lessons. We capitalize on using one of the most fun games in the world to teach empowering and vital life skills to at-risk children (living below the accepted poverty level).
Athletes As Mentors: Our professional athletes provide the perfect platform for mentoring. These are individuals who have been through their own share of hardships, on and off the court, to get to where they are now. They can use their own life lessons, like how they learned to believe in themselves and tackle challenges and the skills they adapted to navigate life at home, in the classroom, on the court, etc. and teach these lessons to our children. The professional athletes have surely reaped the benefits of mentorship in the form of a coach or even a teammate - they know just how valuable and impactful mentorship is to youth. Mentorship is a two-way street - those who mentor reap just as many benefits, if not more, than those whom they mentor. Being a mentor gives professional players the opportunity to give back, self reflect, and use the opportunity as a tool to develop their own coaching skills. We encourage players to use this mentoring opportunity as an experience they can add to their resume in the future, should they decide to retire and coach someday.