- By Chez Oxendine
An Osage member of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition is partnering with basketball nonprofit Rise Above Basketball to provide basketball clinics for Native youth at the end of January.
On January 28, Ben Jacobs and Rise Above will host the basketball clinics at the University of Denver’s Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness Hamilton Gymnasium from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. —the first such clinics for Rise Above in Colorado.
Jacobs is a co-founder of Tocabe: An American Indian Eatery, featured last year in Native News Online sister publication, Tribal Business News.
“We are so excited for our first sports clinic in Denver,” said Rise Above Co-Founder and CEO Jaci McCormick, a member of the Nez Perce Tribe, in a statement provided to Native News Online. “Colorado has a strong, connected Native population and the kids attending will benefit from the basketball coaching and inspiration of our guests.”
Jacobs echoed the sentiment, calling the opportunity to host Rise Above in Colorado a “thrill.”
“Rise Above does an amazing job building community through basketball, fitness, and cultural empowerment, which I know will be an inspiration for our kids,” Jacobs said in a statement.
The clinic will include celebrity guests and Native Tribe members such as Hall of Fame NBA Coach, George Karl; Milwaukee Bucks Assistant Coach Vin Baker; Milwaukee Bucks player MarJon Beauchamp (Mission and Luiseno Tribe member); 1996 Olympic Gold Medal-winner Carla McGhee; former professional basketball player Lakota Beatty (Caddo and Dakota Tribe member); Denver Indian Center Executive Director Rick Waters; former college basketball player and high school coach Alex Schrempf and many others.
The event aims to combat rising rates of poverty, suicide, and depression in Native youth, per a statement released by Rise Above. It builds on the nonprofit’s work, in which Rise Above builds education and basketball programs with tribes and other partners in order to provide those programs to Native youth.
That appealed to Jacobs, who joined the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition in 2023.
Those interested in participating in the Rise Above Basketball Clinics can reserve a spot here. For more information on Rise Above and striking up a partnership with the organization, their website can be found here.
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