There is no doubt how The First Annual Hand in Mine Incorporated Basketball and Backpack Skills Camp made a tremendous impression on this community, the campers and parents. President Darian Cahill opened the event by letting the young boys know how important an education is to accomplish goals in life. “Sports are great for collaborating, social skills and to stay healthy. Yet, when you get a good education, it will take you anywhere in life that you want to go. Without that, you cannot achieve your goals.” As the first activity for this non- profit organization formed just six months ago, it exceeded its participation of 50 with 63 attendees. Vice President Jeremy Jeffers said the event was sponsored by local businesses such as the Hubert Vester Auto Group, Cotts Beverage, Bluedog Graphics, Best N Burgers, Signature Concrete Services, Piggly Wiggly, Regency Interactive Corporation, Jeff Price Farm Bureau Insurance Group, Fresh Start Relationship Coaching, Jerri Batts of AXA Advisors, Power Basketball Personal Training, Wilson Eye Associates, Music and More Promotions of NC and United States Congressman G K Butterfield. Many individuals and families sponsored campers and donated items for 30 deserving 10-13 year old boys who received t-shirts, backpacks filled with supplies and refreshments. Coach Mike Krzyzewski, also known as Coach K, Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Duke University sent authentic autographed pictures.
Cahill developed the concept of combining sports with character. “Our belief is that children are drawn to sports. However, they may not understand that academics and life skills are closely associated with that.” The Hand in Mine Mission Statement is to empower our youth with life skills through sports. “We believe this will develop a positive mindset for the formative years of students. We want to reach this age level before they enter high school.”
These enhancements include but are not limited to: leadership, teamwork, confidence, decision- making, problem solving, self- awareness and analytical thinking. Sports are a starting point for discipline. Yet knowing how to complete tasks properly is the structure needed for success. Campers and parents took pictures with NBA Basketball Star Reggie Bullock of the Detroit Pistons who autographed each t-shirt.
Bullock was the motivational speaker who explained that respecting adults and academics are the foundations to moving forward to bigger and better things in life. “My grades allowed me attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Without them, my talent alone would not have helped me get in. My Grandmother who taught me the importance of academics and responsibility raised me. An example of showing me how to be responsible was when she would not allow me to play in a basketball game because I had not finished my chores. I had to do my homework after school and was active in church.” Bullock gave the campers an opportunity to ask questions afterwards.
Allan Martin’s grandson Bryson had a great time and stated: “The Hand in Mine Basketball and Backpack Skills Camp was enjoyable because it helped Bryson know about the fundamentals of life for his future.” Marvin Poindexter from Goldsboro stated that this was a great event that he hoped will continue because it taught them about more than just basketball. I could tell that the kids were having fun!” Nikki Edwards whose two sons participated said, “Learning how to value an education, make healthy choices about food and making good decisions gave the boys a great mindset for the entire school year!” HIM also stands for Health, Intelligence and Mindset. Cahill and Jeffers wanted their message to continue beyond the half- day camp.
There was something for everyone who was present. The Wilson County Health Department complied brochures and flyers with information about eating healthy, serving sizes and exercise. Each binder had a handout for the boys to understand how the benefits and lack of physical activity can affect their performance in school. Two trifolds of reading material in Spanish and English provided background on the organization’s purpose and goals.
Former basketball players, current coaches and trainers facilitated the event by running the drills. Volunteers assisted the needs of the coaches as runners and served the parents and children by distributing drinks, snacks, taking video footage and setting up stations.
Hand in Mine Incorporated will continue positive events in the community in upcoming months. Stay updated by logging onto their website www.handinmine.net.