V On the Street

I’m going to work on my layups…Want to come?

In the past months, I have written about a variety of topics that shed some light on this crazy world. I have talked about why The V Foundation is a great place to work, why I think our future in the fight for a cure for cancer is in good hands and a poem about a variety of reasons to support The V Foundation (yes, it rhymes).

Logan Hitchcock, Coach Koz and Tommy Kelly at the first Little Baller Basketball Camp

But, after my conversation with two thirteen year olds, I’m positive that this story is going to be the feel good piece of your week, maybe even month. 

Three years ago, Logan and Tommy set out to earn some community service hours for a confirmation class. Tommy had an idea to focus on something he was passionate about and take community service hours to a new level. For as long as Tommy had known him, Tommy’s grandfather, Joseph Koslick had been battling leukemia. And at every chemotherapy treatment, Joseph wore one of the original The V Foundation t-shirts. You see, Joseph or Coach Koz was diagnosed just a year or so after Jim Valvano’s ESPY speech, and like Jim, was a basketball coach. Coach Koz had coached 30 years of high school boys’ basketball. Tommy’s grandfather believed in The V Foundation’s motto and Jim’s famous words: “Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!”®

Little Ballers on 3
Little Ballers on 3!

Furthermore, Tommy stated that The V Foundation was a part of his grandfather.  So, it was only natural that for community service hours – Tommy and Logan started a basketball camp for the kids in their neighborhood – Little Ballers Basketball Camp. In its first year, Tommy’s grandfather was the guest speaker. Unfortunately, he missed camp the past two summers due to complications of leukemia. Coach Koz passed away last November.

This is the camp’s third year and Tommy and Logan told me that the kids who participate call it the highlight of their summer. The boys take the kids through basketball drills, games and more. Logan and Tommy help the kids make a camp T-shirt and give each kid an award at the end of camp.

But I think Tommy and Logan are teaching these kids a whole lot more than basketball. They are teaching the kids in their neighborhood about the importance of giving back, finding a cause to be passionate about and what true leaders look like.

I don’t know about you, but I wish that Tommy and Logan had lived in my neighborhood as a kid. Who knows, maybe I’ll go and attend the 4th Annual Little Ballers Basketball Camp next summer. I could definitely work on my layup skills.

What do you think? Will you join me? Or will you let Tommy and Logan’s story inspire your own event?