Philadelphia Youth Basketball is a youth development and community empowerment organization. We were founded exactly 30 months ago to build a high impact program, organization, and center to positively impact the lives of thousands of young people for the next several generations. Our organizing approach involved an “all in” community mobilization effort of individuals and institutions throughout the city and region, from the grass-roots to the tree-tops.
On the evening of November 14 at the Harold O. Davis Memorial Baptist Church in the Logan neighborhood of North Philadelphia, our board of directors met for its Quarter Two meeting. Prior to the meeting, we co-hosted a community reception with Bishop Kermit Newkirk of the Harold O. Davis Church for our group of church leaders, our board and staff, and some key partners. Bishop Newkirk presented an overview of the history of the trauma caused by the sink holes and the demolition of 956 homes on the Logan Triangle. He spoke eloquently about his belief in PYB and the strength of the partnership with his congregation. Next, PYB coach and long-time Logan leader Marvin Kilgore introduced two of our student-athletes from the Jay Cooke school, as well as our school liaison Greg Morakian. The young people, Aquilla Frison and Kobe Mack shared the meaning of their experiences with PYB over the past two plus years. Mr. Morakian described the value of having PYB as a significant part of the school’s community. Lastly, Greg Heller, the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, talked about the City’s strong desire for the revitalization of the Logan Triangle, as well as the construction of the PYB youth basketball and education center.
This inclusive and like-minded collection of people, in a house of prayer which is situated right next to the 6 acres on which we will build our center, was inspiring. The group was comprised of people from across generations, industry sectors, race and ethnic groups, and life experiences. These demographic differences are making us more strong, more impassioned, and more able to achieve our goals.
The work of creating experiences for thousands of young people which will enable them to fundamentally change their own life trajectories is difficult. But, in keeping with the diversity and the unifying force of the game of basketball, we will prevail. If you care about opportunities for kids, the well-being of our city and region, and the transformative power of positive coaching and mentorship, please let us know. We need your passion and capabilities.