I write from Munich International Airport where six American basketball players and I await a flight to Stockholm. We’ll spend the day traveling to a small city — Hammarstrand — in Sweden and will start the second of our three week-long basketball camps there tomorrow.
After a very quick visit with some family in Munich, I met the News Release basketball women’s team for the first time just over a week ago on the outside stairs ascending to a YMCA complex where we were housed. Seven of us total made up the team this past week that joined forces with a number of staff and volunteers associated with the Y, along with Zack Jones (a former NBA player and current basketball coach), to put on a basketball camp for about 90 elementary- and middle-school-aged kids. We spent Tuesday through Friday in a huge gym running drills, stations, games, scrimmages, and sprints — and getting to share life with a bunch of adorable German children.
Camps are a lot of work, but there’s nothing quite like working alongside a team of incredible people to put on an amazing experience for kids. We got to share our faith openly and have incredible conversations with some of the smartest 10-year-olds I’ve ever met. And we were blessed to work alongside a cohort of passionate, talented people.
On top of helping put on camp, our News Release team got the opportunity to play two games against German women’s basketball clubs. We won both games, and the second win was a tight finish — quite a fun game to coach. I’m acting as a player-coach for the team during this tour, so my primary responsibility is to help facilitate the game rather than playing in it. But I got to get a couple minutes up and down the floor in each game, which was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
We’re currently en route to a much smaller community, which will provide a distinctly different backdrop from the large-city feel of Munich. I think we anticipate something like 30-40 kids, and this time, our NRB team (which will be joined by our 8th and final member from the States today) will be facilitating the camp in its entirety rather than acting in a supporting staff role. It will be a good chance for our team to practice all the elements of putting on a good basketball camp experience for our participants.
We’re all a bit tired, but we’re praying for good rest today and looking forward to our next destination. That’s the update from me for now — I’m going to spend our last few minutes before finding our gate plugging away at my master’s thesis. More to come soon.