Community Notebook / Sports

NBA-Style Youth League — Where Kids Can Be General Managers, Marketing Execs, More — Coming To Maywood This Summer

Sam Hill Iowa State.png

Sam Hill, left, a standout at Iowa State and eventual NBA draft pick, is helping to bring an NBA-style youth development league to Maywood and, potentially, communities nationwide. | Flickr

Friday, April 8, 2016 || By Michael Romain 

A youth basketball league inspired by the NBA is coming to Maywood this summer. Future League is a basketball camp premised on an actual NBA organization.

“It’s not just basketball we’re talking about,” said Sam Hill, the executive director of KaleidoServe, a nonprofit that serves at-risk youth.

Hill, who was a forward for Iowa State before being drafted in 1990 by the Dallas Mavericks, was at a Maywood Board of Trustees meeting last month to get permission to use the multipurpose building, 200 S. 5th Ave., for the program — which will take place between June and August.

“We’re talking about empowering our kids and teaching them to be leaders. This is going to be run like a professional team. The players will be in junior high school and it will be for both boys and girls. We’ll teach them entrepreneurship.”

Doug Harris, the CEO of the Kaleidoscope Group, a diversity consulting firm, said he intends for the Maywood program to be the precedent for a national program that would take place throughout the country. KaleidoServe is his firm’s nonprofit arm.

“I will be running this throughout the country and I want to kick in off in Maywood,” said Harris, who is also a deacon at Rock of Ages Baptist Church in Maywood.

“The Future League will be a basketball program, but it will have every position an NBA team would have. It’s going to have a marketing team, a general manager [and] a coach. We’re teaching business and leadership through basketball [as opposed to] just basketball.”

According to KaleidoServe’s website, the league’s participants will “engage in positive character and confidence building activities and professional skill building opportunities while learning the plethora of professional careers/roles including: the owner, general manager, coach, medical staff, marketing and finance managers, team positions, referee, score keeper, behind the scene roles, etc.”

“A total of 50 youth from the 5th to 8th grades participant three days a week in the program.  The first half of the session consists of mentoring and the second half of the session consist of skill development in the prospective field. The program is facilitated by professional staff with industry experience, well regarded professional athletes serve as guest speakers and a variety of volunteers with sports related experience are also be utilized [sic].”

The village board unanimously approved the organization’s request to use the multipurpose building’s gym area at a regular meeting last month. For more information on the league, click here. For likely dates and times of the program, click hereVFP

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