Creating opportunities through athletics
Team Phenom is a strategic partnership between U.S. student athletes, schools and sports teams who become ‘teammates’ with Ugandan student/ athletes. The goal is to support the educational and athletic development of the Ugandan student/athletes, helping to secure a better future for themselves and their communities.
In 2010, after a mission trip to Uganda with CHF, two San Diego high school student athletes dreamed of taking the game of basketball, a game they loved, to the kids of an impoverished Ugandan community. They envisioned the construction of a basketball court in a jungle area outside of the town of Mukono. This dream was quickly made a reality with with a unique, student-led, fundraiser that secured enough donations for the acquisition of land as well as construction of the basketball court. The court was completed in 2011.
At the same time, these two students collected hundreds of pairs of shoes, jerseys and basketballs from their high school classmates and distributed them to kids and teens in this Uganda community.
Several teams formed under the name ‘Phenom’ and the court
became the focal point and gathering place of the entire community. The Phenom teams joined the amateur leagues in Uganda and began competing in games.
These students, along with friends and family, returned to Uganda in 2012 to conduct basketball clinics for the younger children as well as the newly developed women's team (The Javon’s) and men's competitive Phenom teams. The Phenoms and the court have since become a great source of pride and identity for the town of Mukono.
Team Phenom Program was created with 3 key principles in mind.
Education: Team Phenom seeks to advance the educational opportunities available to the Ugandan players in both an immediate ‘personal’ and long term ‘multigenerational’ manner.
Well Being: Team Phenom contains structure and developmental benchmarks in both the student and athletic arenas to advance the greater well being of both the teams and the student/athlete participants and their communities. For many of these players their team has become a surrogate family.
Economic Development: Team Phenom's long term objectives include advancing the sustainable economic development of its Ugandan participants, community, culture and country. Of paramount importance is that the vocational and secondary school training of the student athletes and the likelihood that the Teammate Program's collective efforts will enable them and their community to become self sustaining.