The neatest thing happened the other night! Jake received a phone call at about 1am from an African phone number. He was up working late, saw the number come in and thought it was probably Esi so he answered it. Well, it turned out to be this guy named Mark who runs a basketball program in Ghana. Mark has a bunch of players that he wants to get educational opportunities for in the U.S. through basketball. The crazy part is that Mark knew nothing of Jake’s recent work in Ghana, nothing about Jake’s coordination with the Right to Dream, and nothing about Jake bringing Nana Yaw to the U.S. Mark had simply been on Google, searching for basketball academies in the U.S. and Jake’s program was listed. So, he gave Jake a call to see if there was any way that Jake would have an interest in helping give these kids an opportunity to get to the U.S. Needless to say, I think Mark found the right guy.
This is the website for Mark’s program:
The purpose/explanation of his program sounds strangely familiar to Jake’s!
The Vikings basketball Academy are part of the JcomentsBasketball Academy , a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to helping Fadama’s youth succeed on the basketball court and in the class room. The Academy was established in 2008 and remains dedicated to improving the lives of Fadama Zongo's youth through the game of basketball.
The Organization focuses on getting our players exposure to the colleges that will fit their academic and athletic needs. Our extensive travel schedules and unmatched recruiting program gives players an opportunity to realize their dreams of playing college basketball. We work relentlessly for our players to get them placed at the best possible college that will fit their needs.
Your support translates to overall support for the community and support for the development of future citizens of Ghana & Africa. It is from programs such as the Vikings Basketball Academy, which fosters and teaches self-discipline and healthy competition, that we endeavor to build strong character in our student athletes.
When Jake told me that this Mark guy called out of the blue I just got goosebumps. My first thought was that God certainly has a plan for Ghana and He is revealing how we can help, one step at a time. After Jake talked with Mark on the phone for awhile earlier this week he mentioned to me that his whole focus on the Ghana project with Right to Dream may change….he said that maybe instead of focusing so much on raising the funds to build the facility in Ghana, it might be more productive to coordinate with the basketball academies/programs already set up there….to identify top talent and then bring the kids to the U.S. That way they could receive an education here in the U.S. and they could go through basketball training here. Lots more to think about on this one, but it’s so exciting to see where Jake’s visions of the hosting program might lead. Jake already has two families in his All Iowa Attack program that are ready to be host families like we are doing for Nana Yaw. I wonder what God has in store?