Basketball For Good is a program that involves 3×3 basketball and mini basketball to foment equality, hand in hand with sports activities. It’s carried out through FIBA Foundation and its Youth Leadership Program.
For the past four years, the Foundation has brought together young leaders from National Federations in the Americas, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific, providing them with leadership and management skills to help them develop projects in their countries.
Additionally, they’re able to address social problems in their communities, such as inactive lifestyles, violence, and lack of access to education, to develop more opportunities and equality in sporting activity.
Meilyn Herrera, current national team player and basketball coach graduated from the Youth Leaders of the Americas Program and participated in this year’s seminar in El Salvador.
As a youth leader in her country, she works to promote the 3×3 and mini-basketball movement within the Costa Rican Basketball Federation (FECOBA). In one year, she co-founded a 3×3 basketball academy in the country’s capital, San José, while strengthening education, health, and wellness initiatives.
“I fell in love with 3×3 basketball in 2018; the modality means so much to me. It caught my attention, and I got involved early on,” said Meilyn.
She said that the Youth Leadership program has taught her how to implement a social project linked to sports and has given her the tools to develop her project and create an academy.
“We learned, through the Leadership Workshop, that sport is related to sustainable development and that we can contribute to education,” she explained.
The Costa Rican learned about the program through FECOBA and quickly became interested because it intertwined environmental and social issues, basketball, and everything related to her chosen career.
In July 2022, Meilyn, along with Daniel Rodriguez, also a youth leader from Costa Rica, and the San Jose Sports and Recreation Committee, began developing a 3×3 basketball academy for at-risk boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 11.
“We were able to reach an agreement with one of the most important cantonal committees in the country. They have a sports literacy program, where kids are involved with a sports process from age 5 to 11, and it was there that we were able to include 3×3 basketball as part of the project,” they remarked.
The FIBA Foundation oversees addressing the role of sport and basketball in society by preserving and promoting the values of basketball and its cultural heritage. The Foundation believes that basketball has the potential to empower, educate and inspire young people and facilitates this through the implementation of Basketball for Good Projects around the world.