The Empower Me Academy facilitates leadership development through “Basketball-Thon”

SAN FRANCISCO– Empower Me Academy (EMA) helps young people find a place to belong so they can achieve excellence and make an impact. San Francisco’s nonprofit youth basketball organization offers rewarding programs for athletic excellence with a unique values-driven culture.

One of the main programs of the Empower Me Academy is the Basketball-Thon. The event is an infusion of March Madness and the NBA All-Star Game for Bay Area children, from preschool through high school, from all walks of life and communities.

“I was the person who came up with this idea that youth sports or just sports in general should be a platform to empower people, primarily children,” said Jerome Gumbs, CEO/Founder of Empower Me. Academy.

After playing professional ball in Europe, Coach Gumbs was inspired to return to San Francisco and help kids of all ages and skill levels lead and thrive on and off the field.

“It makes me feel valued and important,” said Empower Me Academy member Bennett. “When you feel valued and important, it gives you confidence, and that confidence can take you to the next level.”

Basketball-Thon is open to children of all ages and levels. Players compete in 3v3 tournament style games with fun and competitive side games such as a dunk contest. The event mixes players of different ages and genders, so everyone learns to collaborate as a team.

“EMA isn’t just a gym for me, it’s how I make my bed, how I brush my teeth, how I tie my shoes,” said EMA member Jaydon. Empower Me Academy. “EMA is not just how you are on the pitch, it’s a certain way of life.”

“This program gives me so many things, leadership, confidence, compassion, empathy and how to be a good person,” described Hailey, a member of the Empower Me Academy.

Basketball-thon also focuses on giving back with fundraising tournaments and games. Since its inception in 2013, EMA has provided over half a million dollars in tuition assistance to underserved youth.

“From an early age, my mother taught me that the true purpose of life is to be of service to others,” Gumbs said. “I feel it’s my calling and it’s my way of making the world a better place.”

For more information on Empower Me Academy and Basketball-Thon, visit here.

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