“C’mon. One more! Just one more!”
It was that cry, coming from a small group of younger neighborhood boys and girls on the court between games at the tournament, that first drew my attention. But what really caught my eye – and my heart – was who the kids were yelling at…and why.
It was Alberto, a longtime Street2Street kid. There he was, getting rebounds and fetching missed shots, and instead of focusing on himself and his preparation for the next game in the tournament, Alberto was focusing on them – and obviously enjoying himself, too.
It was wonderful to see, especially knowing how far Alberto had come. For years, he was a big-time behavioral problem. Whether it was at a clinic, league, or tournament, he usually showed the worst of himself. Getting mad at teammates. Arguing with the referees. Throwing tantrums. Several times, we had to consider whether we were going to let him come back and participate. And every time, we decided to allow him to return.
Why? We saw something more in Alberto. From our coaches to our volunteers, we didn’t tolerate his antics, but we were patiently persistent. Little by little, Alberto’s behavior improved.
But it was that day, when I spied him with the neighborhood kids, that I knew I was seeing a whole new Alberto. I marveled at how he kept playing with them. He never tired, no matter how often the children yelled, “Just one more!”
Then I saw something else. The children were looking at Alberto, in his Street2Street jersey, as though he was the coolest thing in the world. I imagined many of them thinking about what it would be like someday when they got to put on a Street2Street jersey for the first time.
To be just like Alberto.
We’ll keep doing what we’re doing as you continue to support Street2Street with your faithful donations – and know that through your generosity we will reach our goal to impact 20,000 at-risk kids in 20 urban communities in the United States by the year 2020. Thank you so much!
Our vision by the year 2020 is that Street2Street will impact 20,000 at-risk kids in 20 urban communities in the United States. You’ll make this a reality by becoming a “Team Champion” as a monthly donor to Street2Street at just $25 or more per month.
STREET2STREET is registered as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. Our Federal tax identification number (EIN) is 46-1085173.