Part of being A Club for Every Kid means providing our members with opportunities to succeed in sports and recreation. Through high-quality athletics programming at the Clubs, boys and girls of all ages have the opportunity to learn about teamwork, accountability and healthy lifestyle habits. One of the longest-standing athletic programs at the Clubs is the Emerging Athletes Basketball League (EABL), made possible by the generosity of longtime donor and board of trustee member, Albert “Ab” Nicholas.
In his own words, the late Ab Nicholas said, “I want to give kids the same opportunities I had with basketball. I played at the Boys Club when I was young and it made a difference in my life. It is my pleasure to make basketball accessible to all members in Milwaukee, helping them open doors to a bright future.”
Today, EABL serves hundreds of kids in 3rd – 8th grade at the Clubs’ six legacy sites. In addition to developing on-the-court skills, program members complete educational programming, which includes weekly tutoring, use of online learning software and customized learning plans, in addition to education about healthy lifestyle choices.
Thanks to the support of our community partners, members of EABL recently had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A dozen program members were selected to take part in the Most Valuable Player celebration in honor of 2018-19 Kia NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. The EABL members got to take the stage at the Plaza at the Fiserv Forum and help welcome Giannis to the party with chants of “M-V-P.” Two members in particular, Andre and Tatiana, assisted Milwaukee Bucks mascot Bango in handing the trophy off to the MVP himself. We invite you to check out photos from the event in the gallery below, courtesy of our friends at the Milwaukee Bucks.
Being able to participate in recognizing the NBA’s highest individual honor wasn’t lost on the young people. “Giannis is such an inspiration, and has showed me that anything is possible,” said Andre.
Boys & Girls Clubs staff were eager to support this event as well.
“The young people selected for this opportunity are all leaders within the program and their Clubs. They also had great school years academically, so I wanted to reward them when this opportunity presented itself,” said Jamar Wills, EABL Program Manager.
Giannis and the Bucks continue to serve as role models and champions on and off the court.