This Hamilton boys basketball team is learning about body acceptance and ‘what is tough’

When Sandra Pellegrini’s 12-year-old son, Jackson, came home with a book from his basketball coach, he knew right away “it was a good idea.”

Pellegrini didn’t know it, but earlier in January, his son’s basketball coach, Mohamad Bsat, took to Twitter with an unusual request for a donation to the team.

Bsat – a volunteer coach of the under-14 boys’ basketball team with Steel Town Athletic Club (STAC) – ordered 15 copies of the book. Do Hard Things with the game coach Steve Magness wanted to impart to the players as part of their off-court development.

Donations poured in, and all 15 books were received within an hour. Jackson was one of those who accepted the books.

“It’s about what it’s like to be tough, different types of difficulty – like old school compared to now – [and] patience. It sounds like a good book for them to read,” Jackson’s mother told CBC Hamilton on Sunday.

Bsat says that once the children have finished reading Do Hard Things, they will move on to The Body Is Not Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love, by Sonya Renee Taylor; and All About Love: New Visions, by Bell Hooks. (Contributed by Mohamad BSat)

Team members are expected to read 10 pages each night, then all talk about it when they meet for practice on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. (The team plays its first game, open to the public, at 6 p.m. ET on Friday at Bernie Custis High School.)

Jackson spent a week and a half reading the book, and Pellegrini said “it’s going well.”

Pellegrini believes that this step will help children learn responsibility and assert their independence.

“This is something else [that is] for them to save their reading time,” he said.

It’s not just basketball… We’re trying to guide these young people. We try to guide them in the right direction.– Lincoln Cole, coordinator of the Steel Town Athletic Club

Pellegrini said Jackson “isn’t the most avid reader, so it’s nice to see him actually pick up a book, and something that’s not a comic book or a light reader. It’s nice to see that change.”

‘More than just basketball’

Lincoln Cole, coordinator at STAC, hosts the program presented by Bsat.

“I think it’s more than just basketball… We’re trying to mentor these young people. We’re trying to guide them in the right direction,” Cole told CBC Hamilton this week.

Lincoln Cole is the coordinator at Steel Town Athletic Club. (Contributed by Lincoln Cole)

“Basketball is fun, you know, but there’s a lot more to it than life and being good at life.

“I don’t see [Bsat] bring the books… I thought it was great. It sends a message to the youth that we’re not just talking about basketball here, we’re talking about school and academics because you can’t go anywhere without academics,” Cole added.

Books that help guide life, promote ‘radical self love’

When they finish the first book, the group will move on to the next two – The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor; and All About Love: New Perspectives by Bell Hooks.

Bsat also asked for a donation of these two books, and received them again within one hour.

Bsat said that one of the reasons why he launched this program is to give these young athletes the opportunity to succeed on and off the field.

“I also remember that these athletes are more than athletes and that basketball does not exist, you know, there is an influence of the system and factors that will have negative or positive effects on their lives,” Bsat said earlier this. every month on CBC Radio’s Fresh Air.

“I believe that reading these three books will help them navigate life as they move forward as young men.”

Fresh Air8:59Basketball book club

Mohamad Bsat of Hamilton needed books for his basketball team. The news went viral on social media and donations poured in.

Interviews last about 10 to 15 minutes, and BSat says it’s “a closed session where parents and administrators won’t be allowed into the gym, so we can talk freely about what they’re talking about.” what they read, what they can take from what they read. read and use the basketball court, how they can apply in their life and how they feel.”

Bsat said he chose the book Do Hard Things because he wanted the players to understand where he is coming from as a coach.

He says: “I think that young people often do not understand why they are taught in a certain way, and I want them to know exactly where I come from.”

“I also want them to know what I expect from them. In that book, the author talks a lot about being vulnerable, about being honest and letting go of toxic masculinity so that the characters can be, you know, free more to them.”

Members of the basketball team are expected to read 10 pages each night, and then they all talk about them when they meet for practice on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Their first game is this Friday. (Contributed by Mohamad BSat)

About The Body Doesn’t Apologize“Bsat said young men are under a lot of pressure. For example, he mentioned Andrew Tate – a controversial activist and self-proclaimed extremist who was arrested in Romania earlier in January on charges of human trafficking, rape and forming an organized crime group.

“I want to be someone who is against those kinds of messages. I want them to read it and walk away with strong love, understand how dangerous and dangerous fat can be and, you know, show respect not only for them, but for other men they may meet,” he said.

“That’s what I gave in the book All About Love. In the book, Bell Hooks talks about toxic masculinity, misogyny, and what real love looks like in your life. People often encounter unrequited love and are not shown what love can be and what love can look like in its entirety. So, I want them to feel that, not only in the book but also in our group environment. “

Leave a Comment