Did you know Kyrie Irving is from Melbourne, Australia? Or that there are over 113 international players in the NBA from over 41 countries and territories? These were some of the topics our kids learned about this past year during the Middle School Partnership Program. What used to be an American sport is now a worldwide phenomenon with players and youth basketball programs popping up all around the globe. However, as our kids have learned through articles and group discussions, the greatest impact basketball has made upon the world isn’t about playing in the NBA, but rather that basketball has the power to uplift lives and communities.

For a group of PYB players, coaches, and board members using basketball as a way to positively impact lives and communities on the worldwide stage will become a reality in a few short weeks. A diverse delegation of 12 kids and adults will spend August 13th to 19th at Treasure Beach, Jamaica, a small rural town on the southern coast of the island to serve as volunteer coaches and junior coaches in the Treasure Beach Basketball Camp. The camp is a free basketball camp for Jamaican kids and is the brainchild of Jake Kind and James Schlucter, who are also co-founders of Philly Mens Basketball League, a high-performance basketball league for Philly basketball players and enthusiasts.

This will be the fifth year of the Treasure Beach Basketball Camp, which has steadily grown each year and expects to serve over 800 kids throughout the week. The kids, ages five to early twenties, all come from the local region, the majority living in under-resourced circumstances; many walking over an hour each morning and night to attend camp. With limited summer camp options for the kids in the region, PMBL Treasure Beach Youth Basketball Camp has become an invaluable highlight in the community each summer.

The PYB delegation will join a group of 35 high-level players and coaches from all over the Philadelphia region who are also volunteering their time to run the week of basketballs drills, games, team building activities, yoga sessions, a referee clinic, shoe and gear give-aways, team meals, cultural activities, and of course some fun at the beach. The week will even end with a countrywide basketball tournament Friday night with local teams coming from all over the country to compete.

As PYB moves into our third year of programming this fall, this special opportunity represents our emerging philosophy and programing around youth leadership, community service and access to service travel through basketball. Just how our kids learned in the Middle School Partnership Program this school year, basketball has the power to uplift lives and communities, and we are proud to offer this transformative opportunity to our delegation and support the Treasure Beach Basketball Camp’s motto; one team, one dream.

Stay tuned for our delegations post trip impressions and lessons learned in September!

The trip was organized with the help of BGood Worldwide, a Philadelphia startup dedicated to providing leadership development, local community service, and international group travel opportunities for the next generation of community and global leaders.

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