November 25th marked the start of fall basketball season for teens and tweens at our O’Donnell Heights Club. Every Thursday for one hour, Club members gather in the gym for practice under the direction of Youth Development Coordinator Siron Avery, or as he’s better known around the Club, Coach Ron.
“The goal is to not only keep them physically active but keep them thinking," explained Avery. "When they go home, we want them to be good and tired. Not only are we promoting a healthy lifestyle, but it keeps them busy and too tired to use their energy negatively."
Above: Members from Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore traveled to Aberdeen to scrimmage members from Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford & Cecil Counties.
At Boys & Girls Clubs, sports and recreation is an essential element in enabling youth to lead healthy lifestyles, one of our three priority outcomes. In a national survey, 80% of Club alumni said the Club had a positive impact on their attitude toward fitness and health.
With so many elements of life disrupted by COVID-19, the Club’s basketball league has taken on special significance this year, providing youth a measure of structure and consistency in a world of uncertainty.
“Practices have been going great so far. I can already tell that we’re better than we were last year,” observed Kesean, age 13. “The theme of all our practices has been discipline. Discipline is one of those things we all know we need, but we struggle with sometimes. Coach Ron emphasizes it so much in practice that it affects how we think and act off the court. I know I’ve been changing for the better because of it, and I can see my teammates are as well," Kesean concluded.