Lapta is a small village situated along the northern coast of Cyprus. A small camping grounds stands in the middle of the village just hundreds of meters from the turquoise waters. Among the grounds is a small basketball court from which the sounds of young girls cheering each other on can be heard on this sunny summer afternoon day. They are encouraging one another to push through the pain of the short conditioning circuit I have them going through in the mid afternoon heat.
They asked for it though, literally they called me up and asked if I could drive up to Lapta and practice with them. Eleven young girls showed up voluntarily for a practice in the middle of their summer break because they love the game and desire to become better basketball players.
Many of these young girls had attended the summer camp a few weeks before and were more motivated than ever to continue working on their game. So motivated that when their team had a short break from practices until the school year would start again they insisted to get out on the court together. With their coach out of town, I received Facebook message after Facebook message requesting for me to come put them through a practice. This is music to a coach’s ears, players requesting extra practice. Without hesitation I excitedly accepted the offer of joining them for their voluntary practice session.
Seeing the love of the game grow so much within these young girls is inspiring and encouraging. This is what our program is built upon. This excitement for the game of basketball is what will continue to bring them to PeacePlayers and what will eventually unite them with young kids of similar passion from other parts of the island.