Feeding the homeless helps Nadia Bosket worry less about a hungry soul. So this year, on the day before Thanksgiving, Bosket, along with Hoop Dreams Inc. will distribute Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless on the streets of Philadelphia.
Hoop Dreams Inc. offers a basketball camp for inner-city youth of Philadelphia, ages 10 -17. Bosket launched the basketball program, Hoop Dreams Camp, six years ago to teach youth basketball skills as well as serve the community.
Jumping in to fill a need
Bosket started a Thanksgiving Drive when she saw families in need within the camp. “We have so many children that are in need,” Said Bosket. In 2014, the organization reached a goal of giving Thanksgiving baskets to 35 needy families. Bosket aims to help other needy families this coming holiday by serving the homeless Thanksgiving dinner complete with turkey, corn, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and all the fixings.
“I would like for the youth volunteering at the Thanksgiving Drive to gain a stronger desire to help others in need and also allow them to appreciate the things that they have by seeing that there are others less fortunate,” said Bosket.
Stronger leaders for a better community
Bosket played basketball as a youth throughout school and participated in hours of community service. In 2010, she graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management. While at Temple she rowed on the crew team. On the Hoop Dreams’ website, Bosket stated that she has a passion for basketball and a love for giving back to her community.
In 2014, the camp served 350 children in Philadelphia. In 2016, Hoop Dreams Camp held a clinic at the Paul Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. In 2017, the camp will return to Philadelphia.
Shooting hoops and picking up entrepreneurship skills
“The motto of Hoop Dreams is Live. Learn. Hoop. We encourage others to LIVE every day to get closer to their goals, LEARN from all of life’s lessons, and live a healthy lifestyle through their passion of HOOPING,” said Bosket.
NBA players who have helped coach in the basketball clinics include Jason Thompson, formerly of the Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors, and Hollis Thompson who currently plays with the Philadelphia 76ers.
In addition to role models from the professional athletic field, Hoop Dreams featured nutritionists and personal trainers to help teach youth proper dieting and exercise. The organization also presents events throughout the year that help youth learn about alternative career options.
“At the end of the day every kid wants to go the NBA or WNBA and everyone is not going to go there. One of the things we do is talk to them about is entrepreneurship,” said Bosket, who is also the CEO of Elite 8 Marketing, a marketing and branding company for professional athletes. “It’s not to deter them from their dream of playing professional sports, it’s just letting them know that there are other things you can do out there that you’re passionate about…letting them know the different areas of work they can be in that pertain to sports as well,” she said.
“We encourage others to LIVE every day, to get closer to their goals, LEARN from all of life’s lessons, and live a healthy lifestyle through their passion of HOOPING” ~ Nadia Bosket
Hoop Dreams Inc. had a prom fund raiser in which they helped youth and their families ease the burden of purchasing clothing and accessories. Lisa Burns praised Hoop Dreams for having a diverse program. “I love how they incorporated leadership workshops into the sports program,”she said.
Fundraisers, entrepreneurship, and networking events, are just a sampling of projects Hoop Dreams hopes to arrange to help youth live a fuller life.
For more information on how to contact Hoop Dreams Inc., contact hoopdreamscamp.org.