Shooting Stars Basketball Program Blasts Off in Sao Paulo
As family and friends cheered, 40 future basketball stars charged onto the court to launch the Shooting Stars/Estrelas do Basquete sports leadership program at SESC Consolacao. As the youngsters ran through some basketball drills with the American and Brazilian coaches, the pride and joy they had was more than reflected in the faces of their families.
Acting Consul General William Popp represented the Consulate at the launch and underscored in his remarks how sports serves not only to develop a sense of community but also teaches important life lessons. “This innovative program” he said, “will combine basketball, English language and leadership skills to create future leaders and change the lives of these young students forever.”
The young basketball players highlighted the importance of community involvement in this program by bringing their families onto the court to meet each other and representatives from the program’s sponsors – the US Consulate, SESC and Associacao Alumni. In between interviews with the press and photo opportunities with the Consul General and former Georgetown University star Cornelio Guibunda, the students also met other student alumni of the US Consulate’s exchange programs to learn about their experiences.
The basketball program, a partnership between the US Consulate Sao Paulo, SESC Sao Paulo and Associacao Alumni, is a pilot program that will be replicated in other parts of Brazil in future years. The students are all low-income, public school students from 15-17 years old who live in Sao Paulo. The one-year program will provide English language instruction, basketball training and leadership workshops to these students as well as monthly excursions and events in and around Sao Paulo. Classes will start January 30th at SESC Consolacao and the students will meet three times a week for three and a half hours per day with SESC providing healthy meals for all.
For more pictures of the event, click here: http://goo.gl/KNKvl