Our Baddour Center Leadership Team sat at a conference table in the fall of 2008, deliberating the pros and cons of hosting the local Upward Basketball Program on campus in our gym.
Is the gym available? Should we charge the churches and participants a fee? Can and will residents attend the games? Are we equipped to handle that many visitors? More importantly, what good does this do Baddour? What’s the liability to Baddour? And so on.
Last Saturday, Upward Basketball began its 8th season at Baddour Center. The kids, the games, and the visitors are now seemingly woven into the fabric of Baddour life. Everyone on campus knows what to expect on Saturdays in January and February. Handfuls of kids, ranging from Kindergarten to 2nd Grade, and their parents and grandparents and brothers and sisters pour onto campus every Saturday morning and afternoon. Handfuls of residents attend games and cheer on the kids. As you might imagine, at that age, “basketball” is really quite fun.
We ultimately chose to support the league because we see this as a way for Baddour to give back to our community. We often, really always, seek the community’s help and support. It’s not as easy to identify places where we can return the favor, and this is a natural fit.
Upward is the world’s largest Christian youth sports provider, an organization with nearly a half-million players in more than 2,000 churches in 47 states. Its mission is to promote the discovery of Jesus through sports.
We are proud to host Upward in our community. We are thankful for these kids and their families, as well as for the volunteers who make the league possible. We are thankful that it reaches and ministers to such a diverse group of participants. We are thankful for the exposure it gives the Center and for the engagement and, above all, fun it provides the residents. We are thankful to be a small part of their ministry and believe it to be a fine fit with our own.