Basketball is everywhere. From the United States to Japan to South America and beyond, the game has been adopted by virtually every country. Knowing this, International Christian University student Jason Hutson started a program called Ballers in Beijing, the first program run through his non-profit organization Good Global Games.
According to this article by Masami Ito in the Japan Times, Ballers in Beijing encouraged street players to get together through basketball and help collect used or new clothing for Beijing youths. The ultimate goal was to travel to the Olympics, present the clothes in person and, of course, play some basketball.
Hutson can mark the program “mission accomplished.” While he wasn’t able to find corporate funding to bring seven youths to China, he is in Beijing right now with a pair of basketball-playing g3 members. Along with them are 400 items of clothes – the product of the 50-person volunteer effort.
Beijing won’t be Hutson and g3’s final destination, either. He has plans to visit the Philippines, where g3 will team up with Habitat for Humanity Japan and help build houses. After that, the goal is to take the organization as global as the sport of basketball.
“With young Japanese people struggling to find their career path, g3 provides community service experience for these individuals, and hopefully, in effect, this serves to help Japan (better) deal with global concerns such as poverty, climate change and HIV,” Hutson said.
“On the one hand, we are helping young people develop leadership skills here at home, and at the same time, we are addressing global issues across borders.”