This past week, USG was able to host a group of eleven members at the NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches) Convention in Houston, TX, alongside the men’s basketball Final Four weekend. Each of the attendees is presently working with a basketball team as a coach, graduate assistant, or student assistant in hopes of pursuing a career in coaching. Due to our many faithful Clean Out For A Cause donors, USG was able to provide funding for the group's travel down to the convention and allow them the opportunity to grow as coaches and as followers of Jesus.
The NABC Convention was held in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center from Thursday, March 30th, through Saturday, April 1st. The convention offers aspiring and present college basketball coaches the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the game, develop their skills as coaches, and network with coaches from across the country. The convection offered clinics from some of the industry’s most renowned leaders, including former North Carolina head coach Roy Williams and NBA skills trainer Drew Hanlen. Alongside the NABC opportunities were some ministry-focused events held by Athletes in Action (AIA) and Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), including an event titled “Coaches Edge,” which challenged participants to consider how they can live out their witness as followers of Jesus in their roles as coaches.
On Saturday, our group attended the Athletes in Action (AIA) Coach John Wooden Keys to Life Breakfast. Each year at this breakfast, AIA presents the Coach John Wooden “Keys to Life” Award. The Coach Wooden “Keys to Life” Award is presented to a player or coach who best exemplifies character, leadership, and faith in the home, on the court, and throughout the community. This year's recipient was Baylor University's men's basketball head coach, Scott Drew. The event also provides an opportunity for the name of Jesus to be honored throughout the game of college basketball. At the end of the event, Liberty’s men’s basketball head coach, Ritchie McKay, was able to share the gospel message with the room of nearly a thousand attendees.
Our group rounded out the weekend with a church service at the convention center and a fantastic tour of the University of Houston’s athletic complex. USG member
Andrew Johnson recently accepted a new position at the University of Houston as the Assistant Athletic Director of Equipment Operations and provided us with the opportunity to tour the school's facilities!
The trip wrapped up on Monday with a tremendous service opportunity with a local non-profit ministry called MisFits Mission. The founder of MisFits Mission, Tyler
Bothne, recently purchased a home in the Houston area coined as the “Hiding Place” that will be utilized as a halfway house for women who are adjusting to everyday life after being incarcerated. The “Hiding Place” will provide these women with a continuous routine of developing themselves spiritually, mentally, and physically. Our group was tasked with laying down mulch in the yard, pulling weeds around the property, and preparing the garage for its use as a fitness room. It was a joy for our group to work alongside Tyler as she prepares to use the home for ministry! Lastly, we rounded out our final day in Houston by attending the men’s national championship game at NRG Stadium!
As each attendee heads back to their respective locations, they are equipped and encouraged to be lights for Christ in their roles as coaches, graduate assistants, and student managers. We are excited to see these young men continue to be Christ-centered leaders within the college basketball world!
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