(WAVY) — Pushing children to the next level is the goal of a PUSH Basketball in Hampton Roads. The coaches focus on making the kids better players on the court and well-rounded people off the court.
“The overall goal of Team Push, Lady Push program is to try to help as many kids as possible in our area have a chance to actually play next level basketball as far as college basketball,” said Lamar Claiborne, director of Push Basketball.
Claiborne and Pervis Stevenson founded PUSH Basketball in 2019.
“We actually had this idea to try and help kids, as many kids as we could, get into school,” says Claiborne.
Team PUSH is sponsored by Grammy-nominated rapper and Virginia Beach native Pusha T. The program gets kids in front of college coaches to show them their skills and take them to the next level, but the pandemic forced them to find new ways to showcase their players.
“Due to COVID, a lot of coaches weren’t able to get out to those events so all that stuff was livestreamed and the kids had to actually do it. And, you know, that was actually different this year. We’ve never done that before,” said Stevenson.
COVID-19 has forced PUSH Basketball to pause several times in the last year for the health and safety of their athletes and families, but Stevenson and Claiborne say they will continue their mission to create well-rounded student-athletes. They want to make sure kids are working to do their best both on the court and in the classroom.
“It’s about the opportunities that we try to give them. We try to give them as many opportunities as possible to be seen by as many college coaches as possible to try to achieve their goals,” said Claiborne.
PUSH Basketball follows all state guidelines for safety during the pandemic including wearing masks, using sanitizer, and limiting the number of people who attend their events. They even spray hotel rooms with sanitizing spray guns if they travel.
To learn more about PUSH Basketball, or do donate to the program, click here.
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