PROMOTING JESUS CHRIST THROUGH THE LOVE OF BASKETBALL
Rich Mahler, Founder of Xperience Outreach from New York, has been teaching young basketballers in Anguilla how to perfect the art of the sport while promoting his love for Jesus Christ.
“We go around the world doing basketball clinics but it’s much more than basketball. We want to do mentorship. I want to be the bridge – so we can help some of the kids get over to high school and colleges and more importantly, train them with the fundamentals about the game and about life,” he told The Anguillian.
He further stated: “Most importantly, we do bible study before each and every practice. We also go through some scriptures, and we pray together and explain to them that Jesus is the most important thing in our life, and he’s blessed us to play basketball, so let us play for him, through him and in him.”
Mr Mahler, who had been on island for a previous visit said: “I guess in the future, I want to keep growing with the island’s kids as they grow from ages 11, 12, 13, 14 – and watch them advance. I’ve been here a month ago and since last month I’ve seen them get so much better. I’ve been with them four times and they are so athletic they can jump, run and, most importantly, they love the game of basketball.”
He observed: “I have college coaches in the States who are willing to come down and take a look at the players, and bring them back – and the best part is that they are Christian colleges. So there are Christian Division 1, Christian Division 2, so the goal is to identify the right kid with the right school.
“We are going to bring a lot of NBA and FIBA guys, so there are many guys who will be coming down with me in the future to help train – physical therapy – teach them how to care for their bodies on and off the court.”
The young coach, aged 33, who has played around the world in countries like Israel, Columbia, India and Panama, proclaimed: “God ha s allowed me to play around the world,… teach the kids how to play the game of basketball, and tell them it’s more than basketball, it’s about Jesus.”
While on island, Mahler met with the Acting Director of Sports Rollins Richardson, and Mrs Hyacinth Bradley from the Ministry of Social Development, in putting a plan together for further collaboration.