When we started the U14 Major Bantam Boys season back in September, the players, their parents and even the coaches were unsure of what to expect in the coming months. At first glance, this diverse groups of innercity kids – who not only lacked in numbers to fill a roster but also had little to no experience playing the game – were a bit unsure of what laid ahead for the Northern Kings. Mandatory requirements, such as paying for team fees, uniforms, tournaments and OBA registration were a long shot, placing yet another limitation on what already seemed to be a bumpy road ahead.
What happened in the following weeks was nothing short of the magic that often comes with the game. The kids united. The individual players began moving as a cohesive team, no longer playing for each individual’s best interest but instead working to better the group as a whole. They internalized the team’s identity and character, playing to the peak of their abilities. They committed to one other, refusing to let differences in neighborhoods or cultures get in their way. They began to understand that in order to win as a team they’d have to unite themselves as a family. They worked together to fundraise their way to the various competitions that would allow them to reach new heights in the game.
After only three short months of playing together, the boys were ranked 35th out of 150 teams in their age group and won a silver medal at Provincials. What started off as distant dream quickly turned into a goal worth fighting for. From here, the boy’s knew one thing: if they continued to stand together as a brotherhood, they could go further next year.
That's where you come in!
From July 10th to the 14th, the Northern Kings U14 Boys team will be travelling to Halifax, Nova Scotia to participate in the Bluenose Classic. For most of the boys, this is their first time leaving Toronto and flying on a plane. This will be their first opportunity to experience basketball on national level, giving them further exposure to lessons in teamwork, friendship and respect, both on and off the court. This opportunity will also work to help them gain exposure to higher education, mentorship programs, schools, coaches, programs and even career opportunities outside of what they’ve been seen in Toronto.
The kids are actively fundraising - bagging groceries, hosting lemonade stands, free throw competitions, collecting pledges, donations and more. Any little bit helps with all donations being split equally amongst all team members.
Thank you in advance for your help that will give us the opportunity to bring home the gold!
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