Florida-Based Ministry Launches Basketball Outreach in One of World’s Poorest Countries*
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Nov. 1, 2011—The New York Times has described the Central African Republic as “one of the worst places in the world to live.” But this November, at the request of the local government and working with the country’s National Basketball Team, OneHope will launch a program to help make life more tolerable for children there by utilizing a unique combination of basketball and the Bible.
Basketball has an impressive history in the Central African Republic. The country won the African Championship twice – first in 1974 against Senegal and again in 1987 after defeating Egypt. However, in recent years, civil war has ravaged the Central African Republic. Kids who would have been shooting basketball ended up shooting guns as child soldiers. OneHope – a ministry committed to understanding the harsh realities youth face around the world and to sharing God’s love with them – hopes to reignite their love for a sport that once united the country.
“These people have seen so much pain and turmoil in recent years,” said OneHope President Rob Hoskins. “We’re launching this basketball program to bring hope and encouragement to the country’s youth. We want them to simply enjoy being kids and having fun.”
Along with the Central African Republic National Basketball Team, OneHope is teaming up with former Florida State University basketball star Adrian Crawford and a mission team from Connection Pointe Christian Church in Indiana. They will work together conducting basketball clinics for hundreds of kids in the nation’s capital of Bangui. Designed for varying ages and skill levels, OneHope’s basketball program will teach fundamentals of the game, build skills, develop teamwork, instill character and bring hope to the hurting children of the Central African Republic by sharing the message of the Bible.
Each child who attends a basketball clinic will receive a copy of the Book of Hope, an interactive, Bible-based children’s magazine customized with culturally specific images, games, family activities and stories.
The following people are available for interviews before, during and after their trip to the Central African Republic:
- Interview OneHope’s President Rob Hoskins about his vision for the Central African Republic’s basketball ministry and how he hopes it will have a positive impact on the country (Rob will be in Africa Nov. 9-13).
- Interview Connection Pointe Christian Church mission team leader Brad Ogden about the trip to the Central African Republic and why he believes a basketball outreach can make a difference in the lives of needy children (Brad will be in Africa Nov. 13-19).
- Interview former Florida State University basketball star Adrian Crawford about the basketball clinics he will be conducting to help bring hope to the country’s hurting children and youth (Adrian will be in Africa Nov. 9-13).
Video and photos from the basketball clinics will be available. For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Calea Bakke at 954-975-7777 ext. 1149 or 615-715-2568.
Founded in 1987 by missionary Bob Hoskins, OneHope is reaching the world’s children and youth with the message of the Bible in a way that addresses specific cultural challenges. In collaboration with churches and ministries – and working with local governments, schools and non-governmental organizations – OneHope has reached more than 775 million young people in 125 countries providing a message of hope and God’s love through children’s magazines, animated films, sports clinics, interactive games, smart phone apps, concerts and more. Conducting local research on children and faith in specific regions of the world, OneHope offers its expertise and resources to other child-focused organizations online at SpiritualStateoftheChildren.com.
*CIA World Fact book, 2008