Garth Brooks and Teammates for Kids hosted a youth basketball camp in Spokane on November 11, while Brooks was in the midst of seven shows at the Spokane Arena. Mark Few, Head Basketball Coach at basketball powerhouse Gonzaga University, led the coaching staff including players from the Gonzaga men's team. They worked with almost 75 local boys and girls in grades 2-6. While they spent plenty of time practicing dribbling and shooting, the kids learned their most important lessons while listening to Brooks and Few.
"You gotta love yourself, think about what that means. That means doing what is right," Brooks said.
Few told the young athletes what he expects from his Zags, including an attitude of gratitude. "We are talking about courage, we are talking about respect and love. It is just so cool how that is the message being sent out here," he said.
Few, Head Basketball Coach at Gonzaga since 1999, has led the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament in every season during his tenure as head coach. Gonzaga played in the NCAA National Championship Game last season. Few was voted the Naismith Coach of the Year and the AP Coach of the Year in 2017.
The children, who represented Boys & Girls Clubs of Spokane County, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Northwest, and Spokane Cares, participated in the camp at no cost, thanks to scholarships provided by Teammates for Kids.
Teammates For Kids presents the Good Teammate Award at each youth sports camp they sponsor. The award recognizes the young athletes who best demonstrate the traits of a Total Teammate, including leadership, toughness, unselfishness, and respect for the game and all of its participants. In Spokane, Good Teammate Awards were presented to: Jace Nordhagen, age 8; Jordan Smith, age 12; and Serenity Hutsell, age 12.
Teammates will continue to partner with Brooks to hold youth sports camps at every city on his World Tour. Brooks and Teammate athletes in each city will volunteer their time to coach kids in football, basketball, baseball, hockey, or soccer.