Children, especially those in urban areas, love to play basketball. School and local basketball teams often lack funding to provide quality courts and equipment for players. Sports organizations offer grants to cover the cost of quality courts and equipment, with some grants being geared towards programs that encourage females to play basketball.
Basketball is a game typically dominated by males. To encourage women to participate in basketball and other sports, the GoGirlGo! Ambassador Team Awards, sponsored by the Women's Sports Foundation and Gatorade, provide $2,500 to high school teams, either school or community, that encourage girls to participate in sports. Individual teams with the WNBA occasionally sponsor their own grant programs to help fund local female youth basketball programs, provide basketball clinics and give youth free tickets to WNBA games.
Facility and Equipment Grants
An up-to-date facility and safe court are essential components of youth basketball programs. Schools and groups associated with local schools can apply for a Lowe's Toolbox for Education grant to build or improve basketball courts. Grants are awarded in amounts between $2,000 and $5,000. Youth basketball programs that serve disadvantaged youth are eligible to apply for a Good Sports Equipment grant. Grants can be used to provide equipment for youth, reduce the cost of participating in the basketball program and encourage more children to participate in the program.
Through the NBA Cares program, individual NBA teams have developed their own grants, awards and service projects. The Utah Jazz sponsor the Jr. Jazz program which supports youth basketball programs in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Arizona and Nevada and requires that each Jazz player participate in at least one youth basketball clinic each year. The Sixers Neighborhood Basketball League, sponsored by the Philadelphia Sixers, allows youth to participate in basketball leagues at recreation centers throughout Philadelphia.
General Sports Grants
Liberty Mutual sponsors the Responsible Sports Community Grants program. The goal of the program is to encourage responsible coaching and parenting. School and community basketball programs can apply to receive a $2,500 grant. Organizations compete for the grant by earning points as parents and coaches take and pass responsible sport parenting and responsible coaching quizzes. The Finish Line Youth Foundation also offers grants to youth sports programs. Amounts vary based on need. Two large grants, the Founder's Grant and Legacy Grant, are awarded in amounts up to $75,000 for programs that have faced a natural disaster or are experiencing extreme financial hardship.
Stacy Zeiger began writing in 2000 for "Suburban News Publication" in Ohio and has expanded to teaching writing as an eighth grade English teacher. Zeiger completed creative writing course work at Miami University and holds a B.A. in English and a M.Ed. in secondary education from Ohio State.