We are privileged to get to work with many amazing young men and their families. One of our young men who's been walking with us for the past year and a half is Z. Our talented friend, Bobby Pitts of Worth It Films, spent time with executive director Michael Loney and Z a few weeks back to put together this short video chronicling Z's story and his time with Freedom Hoops.
Our third annual Freedom Hoops Vision Dinner was a great night for everyone involved. Here's what a few people had to say about the night:
- $82,138.58 raised through table sponsors, silent auction, fund-a-need, and 50/50 raffle funding 18 of our 24 players.
- $175/month committed monthly donors
- 3 prospective monthly donors
- 5+ people wanting to learn more how to coach, help, or partner together
We are truly humbled by the outpouring of support for our young men, their families, our coaches and volunteers. Thank you for making an impact in the lives of our young men! If you have questions, would like to get involved, or would like to give, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out photos and a recap video from the event below.
We had a great time last weekend in Dallas where we competed in Session 1 of the Powerade Platform circuit. Our 16U team competed hard in each game and ended with a 2-2 record, beating teams from Detroit and Tampa Bay and losing close games to teams from Minnesota and Oklahoma.
In addition to competing against teams from across the country, we were able to better ourselves as men in other areas as well. On Friday, we shadowed certified financial planner Earl Jefferson of 7th Harvest Investments in Dallas. He taught our young men about the responsibilities of his job and instilled some important life lessons in them as well. Our favorite takeaway was this: If you make your life easy now, it will be hard later. If you make your life hard now, life will be easy later. Thank you Earl for spending time with us!
On Saturday, we went to the North Texas Food Bank to spend a few hours serving. During our time we were able to pack 16 pallets of food, 768 boxes, 22,400 pounds of food, and 18,667 meals.
Finally, on Sunday we were able to learn from Coach Michael's former college coach, Coach DC (Deryl Cunningham). He encouraged our young men to work hard and take care of their responsibilities in the classroom.
Thank you to all of you who made this trip possible with your generosity! We are thankful for you and look forward to Indianapolis this weekend! Watch below to see what one of our young men had to say about his experience in Dallas this weekend:
High school basketball season is more than halfway finished, and while our teams have taken a break for a few months, we've been busy planning and preparing for the upcoming year. Over the last month, we've held meetings with our 16U and 11U coaching staffs to talk, pray, dream, and plan for the 2018 competitive seasons.
Our 11U team just kicked off a 4-week winter basketball league through the Kansas City Parks and Recreation department. Kids were excited to get back on the court and compete together.
Our 16U players have been busy with high school basketball, and our coaches have been traveling across the city to watch them play. We have young men playing for schools across the city - from Shawnee to Raytown, KCK to KCMO. They're representing themselves and Freedom Hoops well!
Mark your calendars for May 3, our third annual Freedom Hoops Vision Dinner. We are excited to welcome former KU great and NBA champion Wayne Simien as our keynote speaker this year. More details will come soon - you won't want to miss it.
We were greeted by Matt Fulks, the director of CYITML. He was our host for the night. Our first stop was a trip behind home plate for batting practice. We took some photos, took in the scenery, and then moved up to a suite with a beautiful view of the field. On our way to the suite, we stopped by the room where postgame press conferences are conducted and posed for a few pictures.
Once we arrived at the suite, we heard Mr. Darol Rodrock, founder of Rodrock Homes and the Rodrock Foundation, as he shared the story of his childhood and his passion for helping young people in crisis.
Next, General Manager Dayton Moore entered the room. He first walked through the room and shook hands and met each of our young men in attendance. He then asked questions of our young men about Freedom Hoops and the work our kids do in the community. He then spoke about his own journey to where he is now and opened the floor for questions from the kids.
We were then fed a delicious meal, and escorted to our seats in right field where we cheered on the Royals. It was a perfect day and a true once-in-a-lifetime experience for our young men.
We were able to play in a second NCAA recruiting event in Liberty, MO from July 27-30. We finished with a 2-3 record and were the runner-up in the consolation bracket. We faced teams from Illinois, Oklahoma, and Iowa in this tournament.
GAME 1: Illinois Bears 76 Freedom Hoops 53
GAME 2: Oklahoma Wolfpack 67 Freedom Hoops 53
GAME 3: Freedom Hoops 73 All Iowa Attack 62
GAME 4: Freedom Hoops 69 Playmakers Express 56
GAME 5: Iowa Pump N Run 74 Freedom Hoops 62
This wrapped up our summer competitive season. We'll pick back up in the fall with more tournaments after school gets underway.
Thank you Josh Weinstock for coming to shoot some video highlights for us!
We participated in the Lawrence Hardwood Classic Tournament June 20-23, 2017. This was our first ever NCAA Live recruiting event, a tournament where top-tier college coaches flock to to see the best talent from the Midwest and beyond. This was a great chance for our guys to get seen by college coaches and play against top-tier competition.
We finished the weekend 3-2, finishing as the runner-up in the consolation bracket for our age group. We played teams from Oklahoma, Iowa, Texas, and Kansas over the weekend.
One highlight from the weekend was a visit to our friends' farm outside of Lawrence. They were gracious enough to host us and feed us dinner between games the Friday of the tournament.
Another highlight was when our guys watched the 3-point contest and dunk contest after the games one night. Some of our kids were able to get their picture taken with the contest winners (who were from a team in New York), which they were very excited about. They also met KU senior basketball player Devonte Graham that night.
GAME 1: Heat Elite (OK) 54 Freedom Hoops 51
GAME 2: Freedom Hoops 60 Iowa Intensity 52
GAME 3: Freedom Hoops 64 NAOE Bulldawgz (TX) 20
GAME 4: Freedom Hoops 73 JC Hoops (KS) 70
GAME 5: Ball4Life Black (OK) 66 Freedom Hoops 59
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WEEKEND:
We did it! Our first summer running a fireworks stand is in the books! Overall, it was a long and hard week, but we learned a lot, made memories, and had fun! Some highlights from the week: