For a second year, the Brooklyn Nets will participate in Nike’s NBA Game Growers program, a unique and empowering opportunity for girls 13 years or older in seventh or eighth grade to work alongside the team to develop ideas on how to encourage more girls in their local community to play sports.
Growing up I was the athletic “tomboy” who blazed the 4x4 relays on the track field and looked forward to advancing through rainbow-colored belts while practicing Tae kwon do and Ju-Jitsu all through middle school. Looking back I’m realizing by my sophomore year of High School, I had dropped them both. I’m not even going to lie I was probably completely distracted with boys, keeping my grades up while attending a specialized high school, and all that teenage crazy hormonal angst that comes with that phase of life.
Being a former athlete and parent of two very active teen and tween boys who participate in affordable dance programs at Alvin Ailey and FREE flag football, Track and Field, and soccer programs offered by the city, I knew I had to support getting the word out about this awesome initiative. Game Growers participants will not only have the opportunity to implement their ideas to get more girls playing, but they’ll also have the chance to grow their own leadership potential by developing ideas that make a difference in their community and making their voices heard.
As part of the Game Growers program, two girls from the New York City area will be selected to develop an idea to grow sports participation for girls, and serve as Co-Captains of the Nets’ Game Growers team. Once selected, the girls will collaborate and work alongside Nike and the Nets’ Game Growers team to create a plan to implement and test their idea, and ultimately increase their peers’ involvement in sports in New York City. These plans – known as Game Growers Game Plans – will be shared on Nike’s Game Growers website in Spring 2021.
New this year, Game Growers will include a group of Game Growers Teammates - a second opportunity for interested participants who are unable to serve as Co-Captains but would still like to be involved in the program. These girls will have the opportunity to support Co-Captains on the development and implementation of their plan.
Last season, the Nets worked alongside Tessa Powell and Gemma Pauls, both from The British International School of New York, who were members of their school’s basketball team and bonded strongly over a shared interest in sports, arts, and empowering girls. As part of their Game Plan, Powell and Pauls designed a sports-themed social media app called 'Tip-off' that connected users with nearby sports facilities to increase their access to gameplay.
Interested individuals can visit www.GameGrowers.com to learn more and apply to participate in the program. Applications are currently open and will be accepted until midnight on Dec. 4. Game Growers participants will be selected and notified by Jan. 15, 2021.
How are the teen girls in your lives moving their bodies and staying active?