Basketball has a long history and lasting appeal for indigenous communities across the US, where it is commonly referred to as "hoops". The sport has been a rallying focal point in the northwest, in particular, where it is seen as a way to come together and
have fun. It has also been used to combat a sense of hopelessness among vulnerable youth.
"Basketball has always been a part of my life", says Joaquin Robideau. "Native Hoops, or "rez ball" is very popular
among our communities, and I
remember traveling to many reservations while growing up and
making friends along the way. Sports
have a way of uniting people from all kinds of background".
Joaquin currently plays varsity
basketball at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, but in April 2023 he plans to travel to Senegal where he will host a sports camp aimed at cross-cultural exchange and empowering local youth.
Joaquin will work at Aywa’s headquarters in Malika, where his mom grew up. In 2019, Aywa hosted a health awareness outreach with local high school girl's basketball teams, and the success of that program has drawn us to support Joaquin's goal.
If you would like to be a part of Joaquin's mission, please consider supporting him here (all donations are tax deductible).
Funds raised will support Joaquin's travel expenses and the purchase of basketball and soccer gear to gift to the local teams in Senegal.