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BeBall: Shaping Individuals Through Basketball

Our character serves as the 'foundation' on which we build our life story. The strength and integrity of that 'foundation' will ultimately serve to determine who we grow up to become.
— John Wooden

For my BFA project and thesis at the University of Idaho, I had the freedom to create whatever I wanted for the entirety of my graduating year. The only catch was that I had to develop a concept to show in a gallery space at the end of the year. So, I chose a topic I knew I would never get sick of: basketball.

I played organized (and unorganized) sports from a very young age, but basketball was the one that really stuck with me. I wasn't the biggest kid on the court, nor was I the most productive player, at least not in terms of numbers. However, I showed up with a sense of determination, gave my full effort, and tried to apply what my coaches taught me.

It wasn't until I reflected on my involvement in sports and dove into my research for my project that I began to realize how sports set me up for success in life. I began to find the human elements of the game that can relate to anybody, not just athletes. I felt as if I had stumbled into a concept that was much bigger than myself, and much bigger than the game of basketball for that matter. The dots started connecting themselves it seemed, and I came up with BeBall.

I compiled the human aspects of the game into ten intangible assets: discipline, attitude, effort, development, support, sportsmanship, leadership, teamwork, focus, and confidence. All of which can be applied to anybody, on many different levels throughout their lives.

With BeBall, I developed a philosophy and unique branding system that allows coaches to reward players for the intangible assets they bring to their team. These assets are more important than stats and numbers because they can be applied to real-life situations, not just basketball. The competitive nature of sports helps to reveal these characteristics when players are forced to overcome adversity on a personal or team level. The player's reaction to adversity will determine what intangibles they posess, and their strenghs will be revealed one in the same.