Teen works to make basketball more accessible to other teens

Teen works to make basketball more accessible to other teens

Noah Nesenman

Noah Nesenman is the kind of child that makes you happy about the institution of parenthood.

The 14-year-old, an avid and accomplished athlete, has figured out a way to play basketball and to bring it to his fellow adolescents while keeping costs to a minimum. With the support, wise council and encouragement of his family, Noah has initiated his own basketball team called the “Cudas.”

“I played in other leagues and they were expensive. Also, I saw that certain kids would get to play all the time while others sat on the bench,” Noah said.

Noah uses the timehonored “pick-up game” and goes it one better. He creates his team by observing other players on the outdoor courts, playing basketball with them, and then inviting them to join the Cudas. He recruits players all year long and is interested to have those who play well and who keep up their grades at school (they must maintain at least a ‘C’ average).

Of the utmost importance to Noah is that his team be affordable for teens who ordinarily would be priced out of the formal league market.

“Noah wants to give an opportunity for other kids to play,” said Brittnie Nesenman, Noah’s mother.

Hustling on the court and in the world of fundraising is the key to the Cudas’ success. The team relies on fundraising to support the purchase of uniforms, coaching fees and tournament fees. From car washes to private donations to volunteered services, the team manages to do well enough to succeed and to win.

In their first year as a travel team, they were undefeated in their league, but lost in the finals. Transportation, potentially a large ticket item, is handled via trips in Mom’s van and car rides from basketball coaches.The team wants to be able to participate in more tournaments, but the cost is often too steep.“We are looking for sponsorships for uniforms, shoes and outright donations,” Brittnie Nesenman said.

The Cudas practice three times a week and they play outdoors; they can’t afford to pay indoor court fees. Noah’s team practices in South Miami’s Murray Park and most of the players are residents of South Miami.

“We want to give kids the opportunity to be seen by scouts. They can’t if they can’t afford to play,” Noah said.

In case you may have any doubts about Noah’s dedication to the sport of basketball, know that he was among a select group of young athletes who were the first honorees of the 2012-13 academic and sportsmanship program conducted by the Miami Herald and the Miami Heat in conjunction with Gatorade. The student athletes were recognized courtside at the American Airlines Arena in January 2013. This was Noah’s third year as a basketball player.

The Cuda’s full complement is 15 players; currently they are at nine. Interested players are asked to contact Noah’s mother, Brittnie Nesenman at 786-218-9941 for more information. Interested sponsors should contact Mrs. Nesenman.

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