Mayor’s Community Weekend – Young Hooper’s Festival

On the 24th June, the LBA delivered the ‘LBA Young Hoopers Festival’, as part of the Mayor’s Community Weekend 2023
Supported by The National Lottery Community Fund and Mayor of London, the Community Weekend is a new initiative that provides London-based organisations a chance to engage with their communities.
The day began with LBA staff and volunteers welcoming over 25 young people and parents into the sports hall. As the Community Weekend is aimed at interacting with the entire community, the LBA encouraged people of all ages to come along. The presence of parents was great to see.
Once everyone had settled in, LBA coaches Lukas and Nelson gave a run through of the day.
Both coaches have a wealth of basketball experience at a high level, with Nelson (right) having previously played Division One NCAA college ball at Davidson College, the same school where NBA star Stephen Curry honed his skills.
Coach Lukas (middle) and Coach Nelson (right) greeting a participant.
Following the introduction, the coaches started some warm up games. The first was family tag, which develops communication and teamwork skills.
While basketball is the main focus of our events, we are also keen to develop life skills that help our young people in their lives outside of the court.
The next step was a sprinting and dribbling exercise, designed to get the blood pumping and the body ready for the games ahead.
The participants took part in 1-on-1’s, picking evenly matched players to face off against each other. There were some great duels, with one game finishing with a crossover, drive and finish as the shot clock ran down. Kyrie Irving would have been proud of that one!
Then the friendly competitive spirit was taken to a new level with some 5-on-5 games, where the kids put what they had learnt into practice.
There was some great off the ball movement and excellent shot making. Clearly our coaches’ wisdom was paying off. Once everyone had calmed down after the game, it was time for prizes.
A few lucky young hoopers were rewarded for their hard work with Jordan brand T shirts, socks and basketballs. There were also wristbands and badges handed to all participants.
Coach Lukas (left) giving out LBA wristbands for the participants.
We had the chance to speak to some prize winners about the festival.
One talented young participant, Omari, told us that he “loves the energy and how everyone comes together to encourage each other.”
Another great competitor, Devonte, said that he “really enjoyed the games, especially 7UP”, and added that he “can’t wait to come back for the LBA’s next event”.
Coach Nelson reflected that “everyone was having fun and pushed themselves to new limits”, while Coach Lukas was “grateful for this opportunity to impact the lives of as many young people as possible.”
When asked what his takeaways from the festival were, Ridwan — who volunteered on the day — said that he “learnt that there are so many different ways to coach young people in basketball. He added ‘I enjoyed seeing the drills that the coaches were running.”
The day was a resounding success, made possible by the enthusiasm of our young hoopers, as well as the work of the LBA’s staff and volunteers. While Lukas and Nelson were dropping their knowledge, the volunteer media team of Alfie and Ridwan led the media and captured footage of the event.
Volunteer Media team Ridwan (left) and Alfie (right)
The LBA was grateful for the opportunity to take part in the inaugural Mayor’s Community Weekend, and we are looking forward to putting on another successful event next year.