Paul Savramis has been using basketball to teach children about life skills for over 30 years.
During that time he has had both ample time and opportunity to witness the many ways this
simple game can transform lives.
Basketball as a sport in itself, and especially when played on a team working with others in a
structured and positive environment, has many benefits. These benefits help a child’s development and make life’s lessons easier to adapt into that development but the one benefit Savramis wants to see more of is when those lessons come prepackaged with potential travel opportunities.
Q: What makes Rising Stars Youth Foundation so special?
Paul Savramis: There are many things, and possibly too many to list here. But one thing that
comes to mind at the moment is simply how grouping kids together for a common goal – in this
case, a basketball goal – changes lives. Many of the students receive scholarships for
academics and others are the first in their family history to attend a college but the opportunity
to travel, see the world outside the environment of a block or a avenue is something they may
not do ever be able to do otherwise.
Q: Why is traveling so important in the scheme of things?
Paul Savramis: Again, I could go on and on about the benefits of travel. But specific to our
players, it’s a chance to see the world outside of what they know of it. That’s a game changer in
so many ways especially in the way a child begins to see themselves. A lot of our boys and girls come from communities and environments where they continue to suffer through the effects of gang violence, poverty, and where there are few opportunities to break the cycles of each. Through Rising Stars, we can take the students out of these environment so that they can see their current situation is not the only one or that needs to be their final one. Last year, we took teams to Atlanta Virginia South Carolina and Boston and went as far south as Orlando, Florida.
Q: Where some other places Rising Stars Youth Foundation has traveled?
Paul Savramis: In that past 30 years we have been all over the world.
Once, we took a team to San Diego California. While we were there, they attended a Rising
Stars Surf and Swish Camp. This was more than a basketball camp it was a cultural adventure
and once in a lifetime experience. The team had a chance to learn how to surf while soaking up the sun on the other side of the country. We’ve also been to Switzerland, Canada , Israel, Maui, Arizona , and many other
Q: Will Rising Stars Youth Foundation continue to participate in travel programs in the
Paul Savramis: Absolutely. If at all possible, we would love to put together teams to represent
our organization across the globe.