For one week in June Cass Technical High School’s gym is filled with the sounds of coaches blowing whistles and enthusiastic kids executing basketball drills. This year, the gym held 120 young athletes (10-15 years old) who were participating in Greg Kesler’s “Shoot for your Goals” week-long basketball camp facilitated by Winning Futures. The camp is designed provide a way for children to develop academically, socially and physically during the summer.
Mr. Kesler and Winning Futures have gathered together a team of coaches and mentors who embody the tenants of the camp—they’re positive, hard-working, and talented. By offering basketball clinics and classroom sessions the camp provides two forums to engage the kids.
Coach Brian Howard conducts his classroom with energetic gestures and parental care. He understands the delicate art of engaging students with humor but can be stern when needed. He’s divided the classroom curriculum into five lectures with topics such as goal setting and overcoming obstacles. Students are arranged into groups of four and assigned a mentor from the business community. After Coach Brian gives a short lecture, the mentors guide their students through discussions and activities. With the wisdom of their mentors to draw from, the students discuss challenging “what-if” scenarios and draw up resolutions to share to the class. The classroom aspect of Winning Futures prepares kids for success off the court.
Coach Howard identified one participant, Michael, as someone who embodies the spirit of the camp. Wiping off sweat earned during a scrimmage, Michael talks about his passion for the program. The balance between the court and the classroom is an aspect of the course he values. Michael also appreciates being able to apply the skills and techniques he’s learned during the clinics to the scrimmages. When prompted on what he wants to be when he gets older, he says “I want to be a Doctor”.
This blog post can also be found at Quicken Loans in the Community’s website here.