The Storm donated new basketballs, backpacks, jerseys and a $1,500 check to secure gym space and practice time
The Seattle Storm partnered with the Swedish Medical Center to hold a skills session with its community partner, the women of Jugando Basketball Por Una Vida Saludable (JBVS), on Oct. 8 at the South Park Community Center, encouraging physical activity through the sport of basketball and celebrating the values of community, teamwork and exercise.
In addition to holding a skills session, taught by assistant coach Ryan Webb, the Storm donated a variety of items to its community partner, including brand-new Spalding basketballs (12 men’s, 12 women’s), 50 backpacks, co-branded practice jerseys and a $1,500 check, which will secure gym space and practice time at the South Park Community Center for the individuals of JBVS going into their 2018 season. This community partnership was important to the Storm and Swedish to show how women can empower one another through the game of basketball and ultimately lead to a healthier life.
“Social responsibility is at the core of what we are about at the Storm and is a driving force behind our alignment and partnership with Swedish,” said Storm President & GM Alisha Valavanis. “Through our partnership with Swedish, we identify a new community beneficiary each session; in 2017, we were honored to be involved with JBVS to work to improve their resources and on-court skillset.”
As Program Coordinator for the South Park Information & Resource Center, Monica Perez launched JBVS (Spanish for Playing Basketball for a Healthy Life) to encourage physical activity and healthy habits for the Latinx community. Under her guidance and dedication, JBVS has become a basketball league benefiting Latinx men and women who would otherwise have little or no access to becoming basketball players.
While Perez oversees several activities, including Zumba and other fitness classes, she found that the women enjoyed playing basketball and participated on a regular basis. JBVS caught wind and soon developed into multiple teams for both men and women. One woman even travels from Puyallup, Wash., to Seattle (nearly 34 miles) to practice and compete weekly.
“The collaboration between the Seattle Storm and Swedish is so meaningful to us for many reasons,” shared Sherry Williams, director of Community Engagement for Swedish. “Our two organizations have shared values – which include promoting good health and wellbeing, active lifestyles, and inspiring our communities to achieve their maximum potential. We take great pride in working with the Storm to empower women through activities like the skills clinic and others.”
Before the skills session on Sunday, Swedish Physical Therapist Nolana Newton led the JBVS players through warm-ups and dynamic stretching. Webb then united the players together in a huddle to encourage enthusiasm and teamwork as they began the skills session. Webb worked with the women on a variety of skills and techniques, including shooting, passing, dribbling and one-on-one defense. He was inspired by the work ethic and drive of the women to improve their basketball skills.
To view photos from the skills session, click here.