Dec 28, 2012
Arkansas High School Coach Works To Make Boys Into Men

Daily News-Miner

http://www.newsminer.com/sports/article_b3b1c98e-4fe1-11e2-837a-001a4bcf6878.html

Kimani Shotwell, like any high school boys basketball coach, works on such skills as shooting, rebounding, passing and defense for his players.

The first-year West Valley head coach also works on each player’s character off of the court.

All 15 Wolfpack varsity players are participating in the Coaching Boys into Men project, a violence prevention program developed by Futures Without Violence, which works to prevent and end violence against women and children around the world.

The San Francisco-basedorganization was instrumental in developing the national Violence Against Women Act that was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1994.

Shotwell, a 24-year-old native of Memphis, Tenn., and an Alaska Nanooks forward in 2009-10, learned of the Coaching Boys into Men project through John Blasco, a friend and the boys head basketball coach at Thunder Mountain in Juneau. Blasco started the project last year with his players.

Shotwell was among 20 peoplefrom around the state who participated in a workshop about the project last August in Anchorage.

“I knew it was for our players, Shotwell said. Anything that can help our young men after they leave (graduate) West Valley and anything that can help them for their futures is a nobrainerto me.” Shotwell didn’t force the project on his players when he first told them about it. They voted among themselves to participate.

“It shows their character, that they’re willing to check themselves and look into getting themselves better not only as basketball players, but as human beings, Shotwell said. It’s a reflection of their character.”

Shotwell didn’t want his players to be a reflection of the alarming statistics of domestic violence in Alaska.

According to information from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Alaska

Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, there were 6, 000 reported cases of domestic violence in the 49th State in 2005, and almost 75 percent of Alaskans have experienced or know someone who has experienced domestic violence or sexual assault.

Also, in 2003, Alaska had the nation’s highest rate per capita of men murdering women (2.87 per 100, 000 people). There were an estimated 722, 718 people in the state in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

As part of their participation in Coaching Boys into Men, the Wolfpack players have pledged to treat thewomen and girls in their lives with respect.

The Wolfpack and their coach, though, decided that the respect should be unlimited.

“One of the first things I asked them is what does respect mean to you?” Shotwell recalled. “Some of them said it’s just giving common courtesy. For example, it’s seeing an elderly person struggling to get grocery bags in their car and offering to help.

“We’re not trying to change the world with something big; but when the little things get done, they start adding up, Shotwell said. If someone sees our young men doing these things, they may be willing to dothem. Hopefully, it can be a snowball effect and develop from there.”

He has seen his players also bring the respect to the court.

“If someone has a bad play, rather than jumping on that player, you take the responsibility of letting that person know what they’re doing wrong, Shotwell said. You’re picking that person up rather than beating them down.

“Overall, the morale of our team has improved dramatically because they care about each other more, he said.

The care extends off the court to others, too.

Arkansas High School Coach Works To Make Boys Into Men

Daily News-Miner

http://www.newsminer.com/sports/article_b3b1c98e-4fe1-11e2-837a-001a4bcf6878.html

Kimani Shotwell, like any high school boys basketball coach, works on such skills as shooting, rebounding, passing and defense for his players.

The first-year West Valley head coach also works on each player’s character off of the court.

All 15 Wolfpack varsity players are participating in the Coaching Boys into Men project, a violence prevention program developed by Futures Without Violence, which works to prevent and end violence against women and children around the world.

The San Francisco-based organization was instrumental in developing the national Violence Against Women Act that was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1994.

Shotwell, a 24-year-old native of Memphis, Tenn., and an Alaska Nanooks forward in 2009-10, learned of the Coaching Boys into Men project through John Blasco, a friend and the boys head basketball coach at Thunder Mountain in Juneau. Blasco started the project last year with his players.

Shotwell was among 20 people from around the state who participated in a workshop about the project last August in Anchorage.

“I knew it was for our players, Shotwell said. Anything that can help our young men after they leave (graduate) West Valley and anything that can help them for their futures is a nobrainer to me.” Shotwell didn’t force the project on his players when he first told them about it. They voted among themselves to participate.

“It shows their character, that they’re willing to check themselves and look into getting themselves better not only as basketball players, but as human beings, Shotwell said. It’s a reflection of their character.”

Shotwell didn’t want his players to be a reflection of the alarming statistics of domestic violence in Alaska.

According to information from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Alaska

Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, there were 6, 000 reported cases of domestic violence in the 49th State in 2005, and almost 75 percent of Alaskans have experienced or know someone who has experienced domestic violence or sexual assault.

Also, in 2003, Alaska had the nation’s highest rate per capita of men murdering women (2.87 per 100, 000 people). There were an estimated 722, 718 people in the state in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

As part of their participation in Coaching Boys into Men, the Wolfpack players have pledged to treat the women and girls in their lives with respect.

The Wolfpack and their coach, though, decided that the respect should be unlimited.

“One of the first things I asked them is what does respect mean to you?” Shotwell recalled. “Some of them said it’s just giving common courtesy. For example, it’s seeing an elderly person struggling to get grocery bags in their car and offering to help.

“We’re not trying to change the world with something big; but when the little things get done, they start adding up, Shotwell said. If someone sees our young men doing these things, they may be willing to do them. Hopefully, it can be a snowball effect and develop from there.”

He has seen his players also bring the respect to the court.

“If someone has a bad play, rather than jumping on that player, you take the responsibility of letting that person know what they’re doing wrong, Shotwell said. You’re picking that person up rather than beating them down.

“Overall, the morale of our team has improved dramatically because they care about each other more, ” he said.

The care extends off the court to others, too.






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