February 6, 2019 marked the 33rd National Girls and Women in Sports Day. This year’s theme “Lead Her Forward”, is an opportunity to highlight the ways that sports can push girls toward realizing their potential and achieving their goals. To commemorate the event, Girls Inc. of Huntsville partnered with Lee High School basketball coach Je’Taime Silas and the ladies of the Varsity basketball team for an afternoon basketball camp. All of the girls in the after school program, grades kindergarten through 8th grade, attended the camp, approximately 60 girls total. The camp consisted of 6 rotating stations, in which groups of 8-10 girls would learn a fundamental skill, such a shooting layups, passing, and guarding, taught by the Varsity Girls basketball team.
Coach Silas gave the girls some words of wisdom about the importance of hard work and perseverance in achieving goals, both in the classroom and in sports. He encouraged the girls to make good grades in school, try their best in everything they do, and to have a positive mindset when learning a new skill. Coach Silas, a former Girls Inc. parent, also reminded the girls how special it is to have a girls-only environment such as Girls Inc. to be able to try new things, gain new skills, and find one’s voice without fear of judgement. He implored the girls to use their experiences at Girls Inc. as an opportunity to grow into a true Girls Inc. woman; one who is strong, smart, and bold in all of her endeavors.
“Work hard in the classroom. Work hard on the court. Work hard in your community.” –Coach Silas
Both Coach Silas and the Varsity ladies made a major impact on both the girls in our program and the Girls Inc. staff. Coach Silas’s inspiring pep talk about working hard and having a positive mindset is a lesson that everyone needs to be reminded of, and it applies to all situations in life. Meanwhile, the ladies of the Varsity basketball team are some of the most kind, respectful, and outstanding young ladies in the Huntsville area, and their afternoon spent with Girls Inc. did not go unnoticed. The girls in the after-school program received an amazing gift from Coach Silas and his players. They now have something new to aspire to, a goal to work toward, and proof that it is possible. Thank you Coach Silas, his staff, and the ladies of the Lee High School Lady Generals basketball team.
Girls Inc. of Huntsville would also like to thank Kendyl Hollingsworth of the Madison Record for featuring our story and Toni Terrell of WHRP 94.1 for coming by to motivate our girls and for giving out free t-shirts!