Some stories are worth telling. Teddy’s is one of them.
Mathare, Kenya’s second largest slum, is a tin shack, 96,000 people crammed into 1.5 km². 50% of its inhabitants are children and underage youths. Until June 2014 very few people in Mathare knew basketball and almost no one played it as there were no open access basketball courts. In Mathare in 2014 Slums Dunk built its first basketball court and started its first Basketball Academy. Among the Academy’s first basketball players was Teddy. He was as tall as he was skinny, with off-the-charts elevation and a sweet shooting technique from his first shots.
He managed to get noticed in the first tournaments our Basketball Academy participated in and in 2015 he received a scholarship for sporting merit at a secondary school in Nairobi. A big step for Teddy considering that in Mathare only 15% of the boys enroll in secondary school. Thanks to basketball he was able to get out of Mathare for the first time and meet people from all regions of Kenya in national tournaments.
In 2016 he was selected to attend the Giant Of Africa Camp in Nairobi where he was crowned MVP. He was then invited to go to Angola where he participated, along with the best 50 young African talents, in the “Basketball Without Borders Camp”, organised by the NBA. For the first time he got on a plane, for the first time he got out of Kenya…something that happens to maybe one in a thousand young people in Mathare.
In February 2017 his journey will continue. Also on sporting merit, he managed to get a scholarship to attend a US high school, Capitol Christian Academy in Maryland. An important step, a unique opportunity that Teddy has earned thanks to his perseverance at school and commitment on the basketball court. He will now embark on a new and different chapter, in order to continue growing, studying and dreaming of a better future for himself and his family while playing basketball.
Teddy is an example, a role model for the other kids in Mathare, a success story that confirms the importance of the work done daily by our educators and coaches in our Basketball Academy.