Teaching the Fundamentals of Faith

Teaching the Fundamentals of Faith

by Susan Neuhalfen

Guests gathered for the Hoops for Hope Assist Banquet on October 19th at Guyer High School. Several students, teachers and other Hoops for Hope volunteers spoke on behalf of the Denton Chapter which has traveled as far as Alaska and Hawaii to bring the program to underprivileged kids. The dessert reception featured a silent auction with many items to raise money for the organization.

Based out of Waco, Hoops for Hope International works with established missions and churches all over the world, teaching basketball fundamentals and bringing the word of God to underprivileged children. During the morning of the camp, they teach the kids basketball skills and the afternoon is devoted to teaching the participants that everyone has a purpose in life.

The program was started by basketball coach Mark Wible after he retired from coaching to become a pastor. On his first mission trip to Africa, he was told the kids had an obsession with learning basketball, and he found a way to marry his passion and his purpose: basketball and his love for Christ.

“We believe that we are meant to impact our world with a message of hope,” said Wible. “We use basketball as our means to communicate that.”

The Denton chapter of Hoops for Hope International is headed up by Guyer High School junior varsity coach Michael Eddy who works tirelessly to raise money and gather volunteers for the camps. He shares Wible’s passion for basketball and how it translates to life.

“Basketball gives you life skills,” said Eddy. “ As players learn lessons on the court, the hope is it will translate to everyday living.  There is nothing like it!”

Eddy’s team partners with First Baptist Church in Denton and the church has also been generous in finding donors. Donations cover travel expenses and offset the cost of giving every child a basketball – their parting gift from camp. It’s never to late to donate at
http://www.hoopsforhopeinternational.org/ as they are continually raising money for trips. Next year they will return to Kona June 9-17 and then to Hungary July 13-22.

“Everywhere we go change occurs,” said Eddy. “After we leave, we hear that the place where we held the camp is continuing to live out the principles we promote.”

They will also be holding camps here in the Denton area at First Baptist Church. The first one will be November 26th from 3 to 6 pm and is open to all 4th through 6th graders. Just pre-register by email at meddy@dentonisd.org or call 940-369-1197. 

“I believe each one can reach one,” said Eddy. “I want to use my gifts to give back to help bring change to the world.  I feel basketball does this every minute you play it.”

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