Onjelique Takes Kids to Court (Basketball Court)

 Student Service Project Report Summer 2016
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel- Maya Angelou”
Kids are very impressionable. They remember everything you say and can be let down easily. The promises you make are always held high when it comes to children. The quote that I choose above ties into the service project that I completed over the course. Originally, I decided to volunteer for the Make a Wish Foundation, however, the times needed for the volunteer dates were not available until October. After debating and wanting to still help and volunteer with children, I choose to volunteer with PAL , Police Athletic League of Tallahassee. I had the ability to work with children between the ages of 7 and 10. Even though the league had a variety of sports, I choose basketball as my preference.
When I was around the same age as the kids in the league, I found my passion early. My passion in life was to play basketball. While every child’s passion is different from another, the drive to participate in completing their passion is intense and raw. It is just about the only time in life you can be dedicated to something raw, pure, from beginning to end, and judgement free. And while volunteering with these specific kids, I can see the dedication and determination before I even knew their names. Every boy on the team was already more advanced than their normal age of basketball players. They knew several fundamentals that exemplified their hard work and help of others. Several times throughout practices, I barely had to explain certain maneuvers due to their advanced knowledge of the game. The happiness and the drive to learn more and more was written all over their faces.
During the brief season, we lost many games. In the beginning, the drive to want to be better sometimes was confused with believing one was already good enough. Basketball players like Kobe Bryant and Stephen Curry are idols to many young and upcoming basketball players. With that being said, sometimes they think they’re playing just as good as the pros. So throughout the season, after long practices, sweat, and literal tears, games were being won. Despite their immediate determination to play, they still lacked a few fundamentals.
Like CJ, the best player on the team. CJ knew the latest moves that involved putting the ball behind his back, pump faking, and breaking ankles, however, he lacked how to lead as a point guard. D, was very motivated and excited to play, although, he could not shoot to save his life. Every player had a strength and every player had a weakness. The big difference between teaching children their passion and teaching adults their passion is the drive. I believe the older we get we tend to forget what we love to do the most. Granted, life becomes more challenging and unexpected but, we still give up easily and we always think we know everything.  Every practice reminded me more and more of why I enjoy the game of basketball with kids. They barely have any serious life problems and their happiness is always a priority.
The main reason why I choose this particular service project was because basketball and kids have always been the beat of my heart. It did not matter if I was making a wish come true or helping them win a game, I always want to be one of their favorite memories. I also believe that our society can strip away the good of being a child. We often become bitter adults because we were bitter, unhappy children. So, being able to enlighten the kids and allow them to have fun, can make happier, brighter adults.
I encourage everyone, in some shape or form, to helps kids. Help them in ways that are different from the way you were raised, or the events you witnessed and help them discover a part of their childhood that you may have lost. When volunteering with children, have the patience you do not have for your boss and the other people around you. Children are the most innocent beings, fresh, and pure. Children are like blank notepads waiting to be filled with your words. So give them a good writing, one you never had.