This week’s blog post was written by Edniesha Curry, an American coach who visited PPI – ME this past week as a part of the “America House Life Skills Event Series” funded by the US Consulate in Jerusalem. Edniesha has extensive background as a coach and as a player. From 2002 – 2010, she played for the WNBA and FIBA, which included three seasons in Israel. She has extensive coaching experience with children of all ages, and the opportunity to show us her stuff this week:
I arrived in Israel on September 23, 2011 to work with PeacePlayers International –Middle East’s basketball and leadership programs. What I found when I arrived were some very wonderful people using the game of basketball to change the lives of children of both Arab and Jewish backgrounds. It has opened my eyes to how powerful a sport truly can be; it was more then winning games, or even winning individual awards. It was basketball in its purest form – outdoor training session, indoor training session – it didn’t matter, it was just about bringing people together for an important cause. This cause was to help the children of both Jewish and Arab backgrounds become united and to see one another for who they are, not for what they are.
The feeling I received from the staff, the boys, girls, young men and women was one that was better than any championship I have won or even my first run out of the tunnel for my WNBA game. The game meant more here, it was so pure, it was fun again, it gave me memories of when I was kid and use to giggle during practice and just laugh with my teammates.
Peace Players is doing something truly special here in Israel and everyone should do whatever they can to support this organization’s efforts to continue to grow and unite both Arab and Jewish children. PeacePlayers is doing what everyone in the world should be doing, changing the lives of our children for the better through positive life skills training and building positive relationships in the communities.
I want to thank the LDP Boys, Jeruselum All Stars, Beit Shemesh, Hand in Hand School, Keshet, Beit Safafa teams, all the coaches and staff at PeacePlayers for such a wonderful experience teaching the game of basketball. I will conclude by saying that we all come from different communities, religions, cultural backgrounds and different languages; but when the whistle blows and the balls begin to bounce, we are all one family, we are all PeacePlayers.