Upward Basketball – Stewardship in Action

Basketball is a fun sport to play and entertaining to watch. Many of us have played basketball over the years in organized teams, at school, or general pickup games in our neighborhoods, and it has become a part of who we are. Basketball is our city’s favorite pastime, with the Spurs‘ players and coaches like family members that are forever endeared to all of us. It is also big business with millions of dollars and national exposure at stake.

For Trinity Baptist Church, basketball is also a mission field, an outreach to our community, and another opportunity to share the Gospel and instill Christian characteristics with our young basketball players and cheerleaders. Upwards Basketball is an opportunity for our children to be introduced to the sport, practice skills, learn many of the nuances of the game, but most importantly Upwards is a faith based program where every practice has a huddle to talk about a virtuous characteristic and recognize players with character stars. Upwards’ 360 Progression program focuses on developing the players mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially.

When you watch one of our Upwards games, you will notice many differences from the traditional game – 6 periods rather than 4 quarters, varying rim heights, color coordinated man-to-man defense with a defense limit zone, and referees that are just as concerned that
all players are engaged in the game and have the opportunity to play as they are about the rules of the game (which are looser with younger players). You will also see a pregame introduction similar to the Spurs, unusual fun halftime games engaging parents along with their children, a team mascot, and the cutest energetic cheerleaders. You will also see a refurbished gymnasium with freshly painted walls, refinished court, and new permanent adjustable basketball goals.

What you may not notice is the multitude of volunteers both from the church and from the community who dedicate countless hours, for which a program like this depends. You may not see scholarships and other financial support that is donated generously directly to the program and through our tithes and offerings.

What I hope you do see is the love that we all have for these young athletes and guidance along their spiritual journey.