Holi festival 2013. Photo by Olivia Drake MALS ’08.

Williams ’02 changes youth basketball

[Terrance Williams '02 and Team Scan] By Aditi Kini '13

When Terrance Williams '02 founded Team Scan, a grassroots basketball group in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League, he was attempting to reverse-engineer his own path—he wanted to provide local students a chance to turn their jump shots into scholarships for private schools and college. Team Scan Cardinals, one of the best youth basketball programs in the country, is headed by Terrance and his Wesleyan friends Justin Weir '02, Andre Charles '06 and Jason Forde '01.

"It's about their futures. At the end of the day, you win a game, what do you get, bragging rights? Who cares about that." The New York Times features Terrance's efforts to develop these students and chronicles the trajectory of Team Scan Cardinals:

Everything’s wrong,” Terrance Williams said, his voice growing raspier with each word. He looked around at the teenagers on his basketball team, many of whom were chewing the necks of their jerseys and staring at the ground. “Shot selection! Body language!”

While many teams in the E.Y.B.L. were named for the famous stars who helped fund them — the King James Shooting Stars (LeBron James), Team CP3 (Chris Paul) — Williams named his for the after-school program where he worked in the Bronx. As a kid growing up in the borough, Williams was a decent basketball player but a better student, earning admission to a New Hampshire boarding school and eventually Wesleyan University. Williams, who is 35, started Team Scan as a way of reverse-engineering his own path: He wanted to help local kids turn their above-average jump shots into scholarships for private school and college — if not to play for the University of Connecticut, this year’s national champion, then perhaps Connecticut College.

He brought on three friends from Wesleyan, who began mentoring kids from the neighborhood and cold-calling boarding schools throughout New England on their behalf. Together, they hoped to create a basketball version of Prep for Prep, the renowned New York City program that sends underprivileged students to private schools and helps them survive once they get there. But Williams’s players quickly outperformed even his most unreasonable expectations.

Read more…

Image: by Mark Peterson/Redux; from article

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