Jr. NBA Program of the Month Winner: November

Head Start Basketball is a youth basketball organization that has been teaching the fundamentals of the game through basketball camps, individual skill training, and online training videos in the greater Cleveland area since 1993. They have approximately 1,000 plus players, boys and girls grades 1-6, that participate in their camps and training each year. These programs feature fundamental learning stations where players are taught the skills of the game, contests to test the skills learned, and the chance to play small sided games to maximize touches and player development.

In addition to focusing on on-court development, Head Start Basketball is also extremely focused on teaching the values of the game. Each camp emphasizes sportsmanship as well as learning to work together as a team by respecting your teammates, opponents, and officials. Head Start Basketball also publishes weekly posts to their blog “Basketball on the Edge”, aimed at improving the youth basketball landscape for players, parents, and coaches. They even have a season long character/leadership notebook that they share with teams in the community.

Cleveland’s youth basketball players aren’t the only ones that benefit from Head Start Basketball; the surrounding community benefits in numerous ways as well. Head Start has a partnership with Ohio Guidestone, which is an organization that serves children and families on different community-based services, including mental health services, foster care and residential care. Last Christmas they participated in an annual Holiday Gift Giving Event that provided gifts to 9 needy families in the Cleveland area. Head Start Basketball also hosted a baby shower for 7 expectant mothers last spring as part of this partnership. Over the past several years, the organization has participated in a Target Shopping night with a local charity, Team Strongsville, that bought gifts for kids in need in their community.

Head Start Basketball plans to use the Under Armour gift card to provide athletic apparel and equipment to kids in need through one of their giving initiatives, and to purchase new basketballs to replace some of the older balls currently in use.