X’s and O’s by Kenny Holdsman – October 2017 October 31, 2017
Philadelphia Youth Basketball was officially launched in June of 2015, with the stated intention of building not only a high impact program and organization, but also a world class youth basketball and education center. Our funders and board of directors believed then, and still believe today, that a substantial and holistic center is needed to create transformative experiences for thousands of deserving young people.
In both the physical and metaphorical sense, “space and place” matters a lot. The climate and culture of a physical environment, what young people call the “vibe” of the place, influences how people interact. Our staff team and board members believe that for young people to learn and grow in the most optimal ways, they must spend significant hours over multiple years in an environment which is safe and youth-centered. By youth-centered, we mean that young people have “voice, visibility, and value,” so much so that they feel a strong sense of ownership and franchise. In essence, the adults in the environment are fully invested in the success of children, and make decisions and conduct themselves in ways which are empowering to kids.
Our center will undoubtedly become a “second home” to many young people from throughout our city and region. Children will have opportunities to build friendships; acquire academic and social skills; receive positive coaching and mentorship; eat healthy meals; engage in opportunities to give back through volunteer, work, and leadership experiences; and of course to play ball in a variety of training and game play situations. Our center will be opened seven days/week for 12-14 hours each day. It will be teaming with enriching on court and off court activities from the time we will open in the early morning until closing time in the evening. The space and place will be vibrant and dynamic. It will be youth-centered. And, it will be sacred.
Do we as a community have the capacity and commitment to pull together on behalf of children ? PYB is working 24/7 to make this vision a reality. If you share this vision, let us know. We need you!