Initiating valuable discussions and engaging experts, athletes, and community members.

Co-hosted by PYB Board Member James Seth Thompson & our co-founder and current CEO, Kenny Holdsman, the Beyond Basketball Podcast – BBP for short – will feature a series of roundtable discussions with notable leaders in the community and beyond about issues of the day. The pilot season will explore topics ranging from social justice and racial equity in America to best practices in the sports-based youth development sector, always tying back to the core mission & values of our organization.⁣⁣⁣⁣ Click one of the buttons below to listen on the platform of your choice, or listen directly on this webpage. Make sure to like, subscribe, and follow our social media for all the latest updates!

List of Episodes

Ameen Akbar and The Real Deal

Ameen Akbar's favorite saying, "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they’ll never sit in", demonstrates how he lives his life every day. In this episode of the Beyond Basketball Podcast, Kenny and Seth speak with Ameen about various topics including his career journey, gun violence in Philadelphia, the importance of mentors in the lives of young people, and much more. This episode is dedicated to the late Ahjhon (A.J.) Jackson.

Darrell Alston: Overcoming Obstacles to Build Bungee Brand

A Philadelphia native, Darrell first found early career success as a rapper, joining well-known tours and building his career in the music industry. Over time, he quickly realized his income wasn’t supporting his rap lifestyle – a mindset that led him to begin dealing drugs. Everything suddenly came to an end when he was arrested and sentenced to prison. While incarcerated, Darrell learned that he had an eye for design and began sketching unique sneaker designs. When he was released from prison, he opened his own barbershop while continuing his passion for sketching shoes. Saving funds from his barbershop, Darrell put his first sneakers into production and the rest is history. In this episode, Kenny, Seth, and Darrell discuss topics ranging from Darrell's incarceration, his unique relationship with Bernard Hopkins, the building of Bungee Brand, and much more.

Reaching Communities with Delaware Valley Community Health

In this episode of the Beyond Basketball Podcast, we welcome Scott McNeal, President and CEO for Delaware Valley Community Health, Inc, as well as Isaiah Nathaniel, Chief Information Officer at Delaware Valley Community Health Inc., CEO of Calcom Technologies, CEO of MadOptics Productions, and Board Member of Philadelphia Youth Basketball. Along with Seth and Kenny, the group discusses COVID-19’s impact on the black community, mental health, the importance of increasing the visibility of the healthcare profession to black children, and much more.

Craig Williams: Building PYB's 'Sixth Man' Center

This edition of the Beyond Basketball Podcast features Craig T. Williams, Founder and CEO of Pride Enterprises, Inc. Williams has a unique connection to PYB in that he and his company are completing the construction work for the 100,000 square foot Alan Horwitz ‘Sixth Man’ Center that breaks ground in December of 2021. Craig, Kenny, and Seth touch on a variety of topics that include the importance of PYB’s Black Empowerment and Participation Plan, emphasizing the need for young people of color to pursue a career in the skilled trades, as well as the powerful connection between Pride Enterprises and Philadelphia Youth Basketball.

Cynthia Figueroa: Helping Children and Families

In this latest episode of the Beyond Basketball Podcast we feature a very special guest, Cynthia Figueroa. Cynthia serves as Philadelphia’s Deputy Mayor for the Office of Children and Families. Kenny, Seth, and Cynthia discuss a number of topics including the development and potential of the young people in our beautiful city, how we can continue to guide them, what obstacles must be overcome, and much more.

Sharif El-Mekki is Creating Opportunities for Black Educators

In the first episode of Season 2 of the Beyond Basketball Podcast, Seth and Kenny speak with Sharif El-Mekki, West Philadelphia native and Founder and CEO of the Center for Black Educator Development. The purpose of the Center for Black Educator Development is to ensure the equity in the recruiting, training, hiring, and retention of quality educators from similar backgrounds and socio-political interests to the students they serve. The group discusses black educators, the importance of diversity in the workplace, deliberate acts towards equity, having a collective sense of accountability towards action, and many more important topics.

UPenn Student-Athletes Finding Their Voice

In the 4th episode, Seth and Kenny speak with University of Pennsylvania Student-Athletes Jelani Williams and Michae Jones, alongside Chaz Howard, Vice President for Social Equity and Community at the University, discuss organizing a coalition of UPenn Student-Athletes and Faculty around diversity and inclusion, empowering young people in West Philadelphia and structural changes needed in the University’s admissions system, the legacy of their efforts in the community, and much more.

From North Philly to a Global Leader in Diversity and Inclusion (Part 2)

In Part 2 of this 2 part episode, Seth and Kenny expand upon their conversation with Ben Hasan, SVP and Chief Global Culture, Diversity Equity & Inclusion Officer at Walmart. Ben breaks down his experiences in Corporate America, fostering meaningful conversations about race in the workplace, advice for young Philadelphians, and more.

From North Philly to a Global Leader in Diversity and Inclusion (Part 1)

In Part 1 of this 2 part episode, Seth and Kenny speak with Ben Hasan, SVP and Chief Global Culture, Diversity Equity & Inclusion Officer at Walmart. Ben discusses his childhood in North Philly, his basketball journey, being a 2-time college dropout, finding a career as a technologist, and his thoughts on Affirmative Action.

Changing the Conversation with Converse

In this inaugural episode, Kenny and Seth speak with Ron Johnson, GM of Converse Basketball, Judy Dunbar, Director for Social and Community Impact at Converse, and Paul Beckles, Global Brand Director of Basketball at Converse, about corporate racial justice initiatives, the current socio-political climate and the critical role of change-driven organizations, the importance of voting, and much more.

Teaser Episode

In this teaser episode, Kenny and Seth preview the pilot season of the Beyond Basketball Podcast.

The Co-Hosts

James Seth Thompson is Director and Head of Diverse Markets Strategy for Bernstein Private Wealth Management. In this role, James is responsible for identifying and developing relationships in diverse markets delivering investment and wealth planning advice to multicultural high-net-worth individuals and their families, business owners, institutions and not-for-profit organizations. Before he was appointed to this position in 2017, he was head of AllianceBernstein’s global insurance and sub advisory marketing.

Kenny Holdsman is the President and CEO of PYB. He has devoted the past two decades of his career to the empowerment of urban young people through education, leadership, and character development, mentorship, family involvement, and high quality opportunities both in schools and in communities. He has held senior positions in a major urban school district, a global nonprofit, and a local sports-based youth development organization, most recently serving as the President of Legacy Youth Tennis and Education (formerly Arthur Ashe) from February, 2009 to June, 2015.