Today’s guest blog is written by Bianca Beck, a professional basketball player in St. Louis Missouri who found PeacePlayers while looking for a way to use basketball to inspire and develop children.
I was born in Okinawa, Japan and spent most of my childhood in Lakenheath England and St. Louis Missouri in the United States. I was first introduced to the sport of basketball around the age of 5, and have been playing ever since. In high school I won a State Championship at Incarnate Word Academy, and later graduated college from Southeast Missouri State University on a full athletics scholarship. I was the first true freshman to be in the starting line up for a home opening game and I was recorded as the third most durable player in the women’s program, playing in every game from my freshman to senior year.
In 2012 after graduating from college, I was looking to be more religious. My faith is Messianic Jew and one of the mitzvahs (commandments) is Tzedakah (charity). I wanted one of my donations to go to an organization where basketball was used as a tool to inspire and develop children, teaching them life lesson through the game I love, as well as be used as a safe haven from worldly conflicts. Initially I thought an organization like this probably didn’t exist, but after typing a search in Google, PeacePlayer International popped up on the result list. I reviewed the website, mission statement and saw the testimonials on the impact PPI had on the communities they were located in. I immediately reached out to PPI to start giving monthly donations. I am confident knowing that my donations aren’t just to help some kids learn how to play basketball, but to inspire and teach life lessons and promote peace and unity.
I currently play professional basketball for the St. Louis Surge in St. Louis Missouri and have been playing here for 3 years. We recently won the 2014 National WBCBL Championship and looking to repeat in 2015. As a point guard and team captain, I find myself striving for the values of PeacePlayers such as teamwork and communication in both practices and games. But the values of PeacePlayers are visible in my everyday life too, including my job, friends and family. I have had unforeseen issues and disagreements with my coaches, supervisors, siblings, friends and my family, but because we respectfully communicate our feelings, we are able able to compromise and resolve conflict in a way that leaves both parties happy.
I hope and pray that the children in PPI’s program are able to use the same lessons, values and experiences learned and apply them in a way that not only positively impacts their own lives, but also their communities and the world.
Proud PeacePlayers International Donor