Crossover is an unusual non-profit - it's hard to explain. it's not just about "sports" and teaching kids about playing basketball. It's really about hope and I'important life skills, which tells a far more interesting story. I've got no doubt that this thing can scale and affect even more lives.
I got involved with the Crossover Basketball and Scholar's during the summer of 2013. I met Shaun (the big boss) when I was seventeen, and five years later I was lucky enough to be a part of the inaugural session. I had an absolutely fantastic experience myself, but more importantly I think I was a part of a special organization that will have a lasting impact. It may seem like a roundabout way of combating poverty and malnutrition in India by teaching basketball, but Crossover is so much more than volunteer basketball training. The kids we worked with all varied in natural basketball talent, but each and every one of the boys and girls we worked with were enthusiastic to learn and appreciative of the help. I can't explain how many American kids I've worked with that either thought they were above training or didn't appreciate the opportunity, but these kids absorbed information like a sponge. From Shaun's leadership and nutrition lectures to my ball-handling and defense drills, these kids learned from us, and we learned from them. I couldn't recommend the program more.
The two things that strike me most about this worthy endeavor is the passion of its leadership and the need it genuinely serves. It is an endeavor of hope and opportunity...taking the ideal of the American dream and applying it to underprivileged youths in India. If you speak with the leaders of this organization, you quickly learn how your time, money, etc., can impact lives. The difference that can be made in the next generation is inspiring.
Crossover is a great organization with excellent leadership and an ability to meets the needs of a community. The sport of basketball is just emerging in India, and this is a great opportunity for coaches and players to gain skills. Moreover, concepts of leadership, teamwork and hard work will help students in whatever they choose to pursue. Crossover has gained the support of the local community in Chennai and is poised to develop its program and impact a larger group of students and coaches in that area and beyond.
I had the opportunity to attend the Inaugural Session of Hoops Creating Hope in India and had an unforgettable experience. We use basketball as a mechanism to get kids to further their education in India, the U.S., and Europe. We were able to skills such as leadership, communication and teamwork both on the court and in the classroom. We also brought in speakers to show the kids real life experiences of how sport can help you achieve anything in life. We hope to have this as a sustaining impact for more and more kids each year.
Crossover is a smart, innovative non-profit that seeks to open up opportunities for young people in India. Using basketball as a vehicle, the initiative seeks to engage students through sport, building character, teaching leadership and teamwork, and using the activity as a potential pathway to further education internationally for kids who may not have access otherwise. The investment in these young people will contribute to strong communities in India, as they become young adult leaders. Crossover is a lean, volunteer-driven organization, and successfully ran its first session in Chennai in the summer of 2012.
Crossover is "unique" in that we want to approach students as they are - still children. While so much can be placed on them at such a young age, we use the game of basketball as the vehicle that drives the hope of increasing educational opportunities, leadership, teamwork, and communication. Our hope is not just for a splash of an impact but a sustained, long-lasting change that will spread throughout the community.