Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bringing It All Together

You're probably not too shocked to hear me say that the game of basketball is much more than fast break dunks, slick no-look passes and the type of fancy dribbling that would make you think the ball was on a string.

In addition to all the great leadership lessons I've highlighted through Hard Court Lessons in the past, basketball also is a great way to bring people together.

Case in point, I turn to my man - Michael Evans of Full Court Peace.

In 2006, Michael went to Belfast, Northern Ireland with the goal of forming a travel basketball team out of a select group of Catholic and Protestant teenagers in the city’s segregated public school system.

Despite the violent conflict waging between Catholics and Protestants who were on opposite sides of "the wall", Michael recruited an equal number of players from each side of the divided community.

After some time, and not without controversy, these two groups came together as one team, which was later named the Belfast Blazers.

The shared excitement for the game helped to foster unity and lasting friendships among the players and allowed them to “communicate their feelings through basketball.”

A New Project

Michael and Full Court Peace have now turned their attention to Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and intend on using basketball as not only a way to unify but also give young people a safe way to pass the time.

The drugs and killings that take place in Juárez have given it the reputation of being the most violent city in the world with thousands of unsolved murders taking place every year.

I was honored to have Michael join HCL Radio to share his incredible story as well as let us in on how we can help become involved through the simple act of shooting free throws.

Check it out!

Full Court Peace’s mission is to use team basketball to cultivate and inspire enduring friendships between teenagers from rivaling communities in war-torn regions of the world.

Click here to listen to my conversation with Mike.

HCL Radio - Where developing leaders is more than just a game!

See you on the court!

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