The couple, who hail from San Francisco, California, have developed a basketball program in villages to help underprivileged children through their Hi 5 Youth Foundation. Their work is making such an impact that the NBA just featured the couple and their non-profit on their platform.
Sports like cricket, hockey, and badminton have immense popularity in India, but basketball has yet to leave its mark on the nation. The Sundar’s were inspired by their sons’ passion for the sport and how it brought them together as a family when they watched games together. One of the core goals of their foundation is to increase socialization among children.
The non-profit foundation’s motto, “hopes through hoops,” has proven to be a powerful message. In tribal areas, girls often drop out of school early and marry while boys take on menial labor jobs to help run their home. The skills the children obtain through basketball includes how to work together, to be goal-oriented, to be motivated, to work hard and it has built their self-confidence.
The Sundar’s team of coaches and teachers report that the children in their schools are doing better academically and working faster than the children in city schools. Currently, the school is attended by 1200 students across 13 schools, 1 YMCA center, and 1 residential school. Each center has its own full-time coach training the students from beginner to elite levels. The program even brings on talented interns from India and America to coach, as well.
They all follow a structured curriculum that teaches children equality, confidence, social skills, and leadership skills along with the logistics of the game. The students are also tested periodically and tournaments are held to measure their skills.
Click here to learn more about this phenomenal foundation and find out how you can help the cause!