The Kiwanis of Little Havana recently concluded its 39th annual Youth Basketball League, as more than 200 children, ages 8-13, competed in a tournament to showcase the skills they learned during the monthlong program.
The free, yearly league is the longest-running community initiative of the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana, which is celebrating its 40th year of giving back to the community.
The Kiwanis of Little Havana’s Youth Basketball League provides kids with an opportunity to join their peers in learning the fundamentals of teamwork and sportsmanship through basketball from club members and volunteers.
Among the program’s 2015 highlights were special basketball clinics with the Miami Heat and Florida International University’s basketball team, as well as a special $10,000 donation to the Kiwanis of Little Havana on behalf of the Miami Heat to help further the club’s mission of serving one child, one community at a time.
“Closing in on nearly four decades of such a wonderful program, we are proud to say we have provided more than 8,000 leaguers in our community with a fun, healthy and memorable experience,” said Tony Lorenzo, chair of the Kiwanis of Little Havana Foundation. “We can’t thank our sponsors and volunteers enough for joining us to instill the importance of sportsmanship, teamwork and friendly competition in the hearts and minds of these children.”
Kiwanis of Little Havana Youth Basketball League chair Orestes Quintanilla has coordinated the league for the past five years and shares a special bond with the children who look forward to the annual festivities.
“This league is a gift of hope to many of these young players, an opportunity to focus their energy on skills and lessens that betters their lives physically, mentally and emotionally,” Quintanilla said. “We have former players come back to give their time to ensure this uplifting program continues to make an impact on future generations.”