Find Your Program Here

June 6, 2016

What The Bank Does For Us

What The Bank Does For Us

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY – Every loose ball. Every rebound. Every opportunity to prove to their coach and their friends that they are legit. That’s what the Milbank Flyers of Harlem, NYC pursue as often as possible. Effort level is 10 out of 10. Coach Casper, Coach Roosevelt go all out. The cheering, the intensity, the fun, the fans, the chain of arms holding on to each other in every huddle. There was even a screaming six-month-old shrieking with the crowd and cheering at a 10 out of 10 this past Sunday. I was proud to say we kept the game within around 10-15 points.

That’s because we play a better game when Milbank brings a team that is on the whole at least one year younger than we are, so on Sunday, we were playing fifth graders versus fourth graders and younger. Roosevelt said that one girl on the floor was eight years old, and her handle was the best I’ve ever seen on an 8-year-old. Unlike players or parents on other teams who raise issue about grade or age, Milbank never complains about playing up or being younger. They thrive on the challenge. They know it will make them better to walk into a game where they are supposed to be the underdog in everyone’s minds except their own. And it is one mind that comes from a culture where kids are included, encouraged, disciplined and celebrated. It’s where heart, effort, toughness and respect are expected 24/7, win or lose.

Year in and year out, Milbank develops and nurtures so many talented and hard-working kids. There is no finer example of toughness, heart, and effort in New York City. It comes from the top and runs all the way down to the youngest. You see eight-year-olds out there, and girls playing on boys teams with the expectation that it doesn’t matter who you are. When you wear the jersey that says Milbank Flyers, there is only one way to play.

The backs of their uniforms say, “The Bank.” It’s because you can count on them consistently adding value, energy, toughness and character to every gym they are in, as they did this past Sunday, as they do every time they play the game that gives so many kids an opportunity to show the world what they are made of.