The kids at the Boys and Girls Club in downtown Houston had the time of their lives Thursday, as BIG3 and Adidas partnered to bring a youth clinic that featured food trucks, virtual reality video games, basketball tournaments, and a visit by the founder of the league itself, rapper and actor Ice Cube.
Williams, who most recently played on the Power team in BIG3’s inaugural season, shed light on the history of the Young 3 and noted that “The Young 3 is a vision that Ice Cube and myself had to really bring the community together. It’s not just about basketball but a bigger message of getting kids to dream about Olympic medals, playing in the big leagues, and bringing everybody together.”
Williams along with other players from the BIG3 league could be seen sporting “Shooting for Peace” T-shirts, referring to an organization founded by Williams with the intent of encouraging young people to engage in sports and foster well being throughout their neighborhoods.
A component of the program is an online course on African-American studies and, through a partnership with the online education organization EverFi, “Boys and Girls Clubs in every city that we play in, plus in their schools, will receive free digital education paid for by us the players. That’s the educational component of the Young 3 while the basketball clinic is our sports and fitness component.” The clinics will be held in each of the 10 cities that BIG3 will compete in, ensuring that children in Boys and Girls Clubs across the nation will have the chance to grow and learn.
Darus Williams, who works for the Boys and Girls Club of Houston, was thrilled at the event and welcomed the opportunity to partner with the BIG3.
The Boys and Girls Club of Houston hopes to continue providing safe spaces for Houston’s youth, and currently has plans for a construction party that is sponsored by DPR Construction, “The organization has been really good to my club and this community . Every summer they host a construction camp w they’ll bring a tractor, photos, and give kids the chance to build everything from bird feeders to bookshelves and even more.” The Boys and Girls Club of Houston is always looking for volunteers willing to donate their time to make events like this possible, recognizing that it’s through the help of volunteers that these spaces for Houston’s youth can continue to grow.
The Big 3 Basketball Tournament takes place at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Toyota Center, 1510 Polk.with a free performance by Ice Cube at 4 p.m..