CHAPEL HILL, NC – The Campus Y made history last week when it launched the first ever initiative aimed at reaching out to overprivileged youth in the triangle area.
“When I joined the Campus Y, there were absolutely no programs aimed at children from affluent, white, two-parent households,” said Chris Sanford, co-chair of the Campus Y’s outreach committee. “To completely ignore the needs of an entire demographic group goes against everything the Y stands for.”
“That’s why this program is so important,” he said.
The new program, known as Court2Court, brings UNC basketball players together with overprivileged members of UNC’s Greek system.
Last Friday, Point Guard Marcus Paige and Forward James Michael McAdoo spent the afternoon teaching members of the Sigma Nu fraternity how to make a layup.
“You have to remember, a lot of these kids were pretty heavily involved in extracurricular activities in high school,” said Anna Richardson, President of the Campus Y. “They might not have had an opportunity to play a sport other than lacrosse.”
When asked about the experience, McAdoo voiced surprise that many of the brothers “didn’t even know you could make money” playing basketball.
“If you don’t come from an overprivileged background, it can be hard to imagine some aspects of these kids’ daily existence,” McAdoo said. “For instance, some of them talked about how, over the summer, they were sent to places where they did long hours of menial work for no pay. They called them ‘internships.’ Anything we can do to give these guys a taste of normal life is worthwhile.”
If the program is successful, the Campus Y hopes to expand the Court2Court program to nearby communities.
“Durham has a huge overprivileged community; we really think we could work wonders there,” said Richardson, though she conceded that the program may be more difficult to implement than it has been in Chapel Hill, as “many of the basketball player in Durham come from overprivileged backgrounds themselves.”