This is where I found myself driving to John Carroll High School Saturday morning in a space more tinged with disappointment than with joy. Our hope had been to host a Rally Sport Basketball clinic that would engage close to 50 ZeroZero kids. As of Saturday morning we had 8 kids registered. As I was praying headed onto campus, the Lord reminded me of a powerful truth from the book of Luke. In chapter 16, Jesus says, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” That truth hit me like a ton of bricks. After all, how could I ever be charged with welcoming 50 kids into the programs we were building if I couldn't be content and lead with joy the 8 kids who were going to be right in front of me that morning!
Thanks to the fantastic Ron Steele and a collection of his young John Carroll basketball players who gave up their Saturday mornings to invest into the lives of our ZeroZero kids, the skill and training portion of our Rally Sport Basketball clinic went as well as I could have hoped. Yet it was in our Rally Curriculum time that I found myself speechless, which if you know me is not common!
Part of what we’re working through this year with our ZeroZero kids is the acronym TEAMS which focuses on different elements that teach our kids what a good teammate looks like and how those elemental truths can also apply to life as a whole. The T in TEAMS stands for Trust. At our first break we sat around half-court and I explained that the big truth we were trying to capture around the idea of Trust is that it’s built on the notion that you have your teammates back and they have yours. I then asked each of our kids who they trusted. With a group of young kids my expectations weren’t sky high. However, as a couple of kids mentioned they trusted mom and dad, one of our young ladies confidently raised her hand. When I called on her and asked her who she trusted, she said, “the police.” Considering the current climate and political narrative, I’ll be honest, I didn’t see that answer coming. I took a beat, then followed up with a second question around why she trusted the police? She thought about it for all of two seconds and then simply and beautifully replied, “because they protect us.” Nothing else really needed to be said but to simply affirm that she was correct and that ideally the role of the police was to protect us.
The more I think about that exchange, the more I am beginning to understand that I have learned just as much from these kids as they have from anything I or anyone associated with ZeroZero could teach them. After all, don’t we all carry our own cynicisms with us? Maybe it runs deeper for others than it does for some but in that one precious moment sitting at half-court in a basketball gym, a deeper, more simple optimism was communicated. The ZeroZero Foundation is built on the idea of hope. Take all the programs and the vision away, what runs at the very core is the hope that we ALL have been gifted with unique talents, abilities and passions that can and should be used for our betterment and the betterment of those around us. I was reminded on Saturday that sometimes a child can teach me more about hope than I can teach them. I’m thankful that I was present at that moment and I can’t wait for the next opportunity to learn.
Founder & President
The ZeroZero Foundation is built on the idea of hope. Take all the programs and the vision away, what runs at the very core is the hope that we ALL have been gifted with unique talents, abilities and passions that can and should be used for our betterment and the betterment of those around us. I was reminded on Saturday that sometimes a child can teach me more about hope than I can teach them.
This story taps into the optimism of sports. However, I can no longer pretend as if it’s the whole story of sports. Because in this great state that I love and in this city I have spent the last ten years in, the full story is that while sports do speak a universal language, the access and opportunity that they create is not universal.