Monday, October 7, 2013

The Hoop Dream visits Pearl Lagoon

The Hoop Dream Bench
There are many organizations that volunteer their time and resources to help the small town of Pearl Lagoon and it's nearby communities. Recently, one such organization - The Hoop Dream - visited Pearl Lagoon for personal reasons, but quickly realized that there was an opportunity for their passion for basketball to help the young people of this community. 

From their website I learned that, "The Hoop Dream was formed in 2010 with the humble mission to bring basketball into rural East African villages. Between 2010 and 2011, The Hoop Dream built 13 provisional hoops across southern Kenya and Uganda allowing thousands of African youth the opportunity to begin to learn to play Basketball".

We asked Brian Smith, the founder of The Hoop Dream, to tell us about his past visit here in Pearl Lagoon:

"We came to Pearl Lagoon in May 2013 and were there most of the month. My grandfather was sending money to a lady to do some work so we went to check the status of that project. Since we were coming for that, we figured that we would continue The Hoop Dream's mission to globalize basketball by building a court. 
Once we arrived we met a person that took us to the primary school, Beaula Lightburn, where we found the playing surface for a court already complete. Unfortunately, time and weather had ruined the hoops on the court. We changed our focus to refurbishing the existing court.  All together, I think the project cost around $500 to build the one hoop that now stands.

Basketball Court at Beaula Lightburn Primary School - Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

We are currently in the process of planning another trip in 2014 to Pearl Lagoon and surrounding areas to refurbish the other courts that are in the area.  We would also like to visit more communities around the lagoon and see if building courts there would be welcomed.

The highlight of the trip in my eyes was seeing the existing basketball culture in Pearl Lagoon. Hearing the ball bounce at the main court as we came into town made me realize we had come to the right place. Another highlight was all the citizens of Pearl Lagoon, young and old, who we found wearing old NBA jerseys. We took pictures with most of them.

We are planning the next trip with the idea that we might shift the focus of The Hoop Dream from Africa to Nicaragua and the rest of the Miskito Coast. It makes for a much easier trip from the US and already has some basketball culture established.  Also, the country itself is more developed. If there is such a thing as a "2nd World Country" we think we have found it in Nicaragua."
Please feel free to check out their website: The Hoop Dream Org. You can contact Brian Smith at if you would like to help or for more information.

Court at Beaula Lightburn Primary School - Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Basketball - Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Basketball game - Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua