On May 23rd we moved our business and our family from Madison Lake, Minnesota. After 28 hours of driving, 1,700 miles, and as much fun as you can have in a 26′ U-haul, we arrived in Cape Coral, Florida.
And we’ve been sweating ever since!
We lived a “remote life” in Minnesota – blessed to work from home on a small lake just over the hill from my parents. It was still. Quiet. Peaceful. Yet there was always one audible noise filling the air each and every summer day – the thumping of a basketball on blacktop.
A couple weeks ago, one of my old neighbors commented on Facebook, “I miss the sound of thump, thump, thump in the neighborhood”. Before we left, my Dad mentioned how he would miss that sound too – a sound he and my Mom listened to daily for 8 years.
I have three boys. Playing 2-on-2 basketball with them is one of my favorite things to do. Not because I can “still show them who’s boss” (and I do). But because no matter how crappy your day may have gone, once you get out on the basketball court you start laughing.
Smiling. Sweating. Pleading for fouls. Harassing each other. Dancing when your shot hits nothing but net. (Making sure your boys saw that your shot hit nothing but net and reminding them again).
And when there is “nothing to do”, there is always basketball.
When I asked my 13-year-old, Owen, what he was most looking forward to about moving to Florida, his response was, “I can play basketball outside year round”.
So here’s a picture of our new hoop.
Today is November 21st and Owen is outside playing basketball. Coming from Minnesota, this isn’t something we take for granted.
Another reason why we moved to SW Florida was a desire for more diversity. In the six months that we’ve lived in Cape Coral, I have met so many people that “aren’t like me” – and I love that. There was a point in my younger life where I thought all my friends needed to be like me. Well, I’ve kinda done a 360 on that. Now my desire is for my kids, my wife, and me to develop authentic relationships with people from across all backgrounds. And it’s so fun when you start seeing the progress you envisioned.
When we were still living in Minnesota, I knew finding a basketball travel team would be important for Owen. After doing some research, one of the organizations I came across was Hoops on Mission.
Hoops on Mission is an organization that inspires and empowers youth from all ethnic groups to be world changers in their community.
And it just so happens that they have a traveling basketball team!
So what is the organization about?
Sometimes it’s teaching basketball skills through a youth clinic. Sometimes it’s hosting a school assembly in Lee county. Sometimes it’s giving free haircuts to kids that need them. Sometimes it’s teaching the importance of community. Sometimes it’s providing meals to families on Thanksgiving. Sometimes it’s about mentoring kids that need a mentor. Sometimes it’s telling kids Jesus loves them. Sometimes it’s about slapping kids on the back when no one else will. And it’s always about basketball and #FAMILY!
Here’s a clip of Owen at their travel team tryouts. He’s the kid in a grey t-shirt that makes the first shot.
The founder, Dwayne Jackson, recently posted this on Instagram in regard to his work in Lee county schools:
“About 5-7 times per week kids ask me to be their dad. What would be your answer”?
So it’s obviously about much more than basketball. Yet through basketball and mentorship, Hoops on Mission provides kids with a sense of mission so they can be the best version of themselves and pursue a life with purpose.
Live in SW Florida?
Care about kids?
Want to do something to invest in our youth and future leaders of tomorrow?