Imagine if... we used lessons from the game of basketball to connect people across racial, socioeconomic, and geographic lines
Mike Evans is the Founder and Executive Director of Full Court Peace (FCP).
It doesn’t take long to learn how much Mike loves the game of basketball. And if you ask him about the greatest gifts the game has given him, you’ll hear about the people and the relationships.
In 2006 Mike founded FCP in Northern Ireland. He formed basketball teams made up of Protestant and Catholic teens from the most segregated areas of Belfast.They played together for nine months and traveled to play tournaments. The long-term involvement, sustained contact, and the team-based approach to friendship building, became FCP’s blueprint for the future.
Mike’s perspectives have been deeply impacted through the game. He says, “I grew up around a lot of people who looked like me and lived similar lives. Through basketball I’ve had the chance to build deep friendships with players from different racial backgrounds and life experiences. I also see how the game can unify across racial and socioeconomic lines”.
FCP runs youth basketball programs, high school clubs and service learning trips. They have led efforts in Northern Ireland, Mexico, and remain active in Cuba. Members of FCP’s youth programs and clubs, as well as college and professional basketball players and coaches, work with local Cubans to refurbish basketball courts, and to play together in tournaments and leagues.
Domestic programs are focused in Fairfield County, CT, where the income gap is at its widest nationally. FCP organizes leagues and camps for middle schoolers from an array of socioeconomic statuses, and racial and ethnic backgrounds. The curriculum employs team basketball as a means of increasing communication, understanding and camaraderie between youth.
Mike captures the prevailing vision simply-- “Full Court Peace sees a globally connected basketball community that serves all populations regardless of race or socioeconomic status”.
Stay connected to Mike and Full Court Peace
Facebook: Full Court Peace