For CHA alumnus Jake Kind ’03, who returned to campus last week to talk to CEL students, a love for basketball blossomed into a life-changing initiative for hundreds of Jamaican youths. What began as a post-college desire to keep playing his favorite sport evolved into Kind’s side hustle: The PMBL Treasure Beach Youth Basketball Camp, a transformative program making a difference in the lives of over 1,500 children each summer.
“His story,” said CEL Director Ed Glassman, a classmate of Kind’s, “is a wonderful intersection of sport, character development, and entrepreneurship.”
After graduating from college, Kind moved to Charlotte, NC, for his first job. He joined an intense basketball league—complete with a player draft and stat tracking—and eventually started one like it in his hometown of Philadelphia. Having gained experience organizing leagues and in nonprofit work, he was approached by family friends to start a basketball venture abroad.
Through networking, crowdsourcing, and, well, teamwork, he conceived of and formed a youth basketball camp which continues to grow. Held annually in the parish of Saint Elizabeth, the free, 5-day camp offers an opportunity for young Jamaicans aged 4 to 20 and fosters a love for the sport while nurturing valuable skills beyond the court. The program's success hinges on the dedication of its founders and coaches who not only gather donations to fuel the camp's operation but are also on the ground in Jamaica each summer, empowering and inspiring thousands.
“I believe that actions speak a lot louder than words,” Kind told the CEL students during his visit. “By starting your own projects, you’re doing something.”