How It All Came About…

flagsSHOOT THE BALL is the culmination of conventional things that one or both of us have a passion for, but don’t necessarily claim to be good at, put together in an unconventional format: TRAVELING, WRITING, PHOTOGRAPHY & BASKETBALL.

The initial goal of the project was nothing more than “let’s just see what happens!”

The project began one hot Las Vegas afternoon, May 2001, and is described by some as a carefree couple (married ten years in fact!) traveling around the world with a basketball; yes, the same basketball. Although THE BALL is ours, along with a hoop that we sometimes take with us, the people that we meet along the way are the shooters. Initially we took a week here and a few days there traveling to different locations and asking people to SHOOT THE BALL. We simply wanted to see how people reacted to our request. Quite simply, the response was moving and powerful!!!

People were so upbeat and encouraging that we decided to try it full time, or at least until our money ran out. With great optimism we quit our jobs (something we suggest everyone does at least once in their lifetime!) in June 2002 and took (what ended up being) a year off to take the Project for a major test run throughout Canada and the United States.  Road Trip!!!

Where’s THE BALL now?!

ballSHOOT THE BALL, in its seventh year, is a positive hands-on experience that has connected thousands of people and one elephant within 28 countries, hundreds of cities, all 50 states and nearly every Canadian province and territory!

THE BALL is currently in Philadelphia where the 76ers invited us to a game. The next few weeks will be in the New York City area.

In April, we will be at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to share the experiences with THE BALL.

Check out the game plan to see what we’re all about. Take a look around…have fun!

The Game Plan…

SHOOT THE BALL, a project that began on May 25, 2001, is lazily described as one basketball, traveling around the world, being shot by different people.

Of course, we feel that there is much more to it than that!

The elements of the project are conventional things that one or both of us have a passion for (but don’t necessarily claim to be good at!), put together in an unconventional format:

TRAVELING
MEETING PEOPLE
WRITING
PHOTOGRAPHY
BASKETBALL

SHOOT THE BALL became the culmination of these activities with the initial goal of the project being, “let’s just see what happens!”

pyramidIt all started with us taking a week here and a few days there, traveling to different locations and asking people to shoot our basketball until they made a basket. We simply wanted to see how people reacted to our request. They were so upbeat and encouraging that we decided we would also incorporate a writing project – after each successful shot we would ask the participants to write down one word in our book. It could be any word that came to mind. The shooters often contemplated long and hard about the word they were going to leave with us, and without exception the words carried a positive message.

So with great optimism we quit our jobs (something we suggest everyone does at least once in their lifetime!) in June 2002 and took a year off so we could take the Project for a major test run throughout Canada and the United States.

We often showed up completely unannounced to schools, universities, playgrounds, private homes and anywhere else that had a hoop and someone to shoot. No matter where we went we brought with us a genuine interest in meeting people and learning about their communities. If we had a motto it would be “If you don’t have a hoop we’ll bring one to you.” We went so far as to retro-fit a regulation height hoop to the back of our truck and drive it all the way up to the Arctic Circle where the one other person who was crazy enough to be there, shot THE BALL!

What next..?

mooseSince starting we have taken many trips over many months and are currently on another year long journey. We often show up completely unannounced to schools, universities, playgrounds, private homes and anywhere else that had a hoop and someone to shoot. We have gone so far as to lug around a regulation size hoop in the back of our truck, driving all the way up to the Arctic Circle where the one other person who was crazy enough to be there, shot THE BALL!

No matter where we go, we bring with us a genuine interest in meeting people and learning about different cultures and communities.

We are ready to expand the Game Plan beyond this web site with a more formal presentation to offer to schools and so forth: What we do appears to be outside “the box”, the tools we use to attain our goals are definitely inside “the box”; discipline, persistence, passion, love and commitment.

And, of course, we don’t forget to have fun!

We will continue to explore our potential, not just with basketball & travelling, but as good- will ambassadors for the United States and Canada.

As THE BALL visits more places over the years to come, we will continue to share our experience and aim towards bringing SHOOT THE BALL to a hoop near you!

It is not about focusing on what we don’t have; it is about understanding what we do have…and sharing it with others.