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We Got Next: Kristen Low

Posted on 13 June 2017

This June YXU is launching our "We Got Next" campaign, highlighting more than 20 young leaders from across the country who are applying their passions to make a difference in their communities. Follow along with YXU on Facebook, @yxulife on Facebook and Instagram, and grab your We Got Next tee supporting the Lebron James Family Foundation.

 

I grew up playing basketball but after 15 years of wearing the jersey, it was time to untie my shoes and hang them up. However, I found that I just couldn't get away from the game. Every opportunity I had I was watching games on TV or shooting around on my own. So I made basketball part of my job.

Since graduating from Ohio University in 2016 and before I prepare to go back to school to get my masters at Cleveland State University this fall, I have been keeping myself nothing short of busy working three different jobs. Through my work at two rec centers and my sports background, I've been given the opportunity to run a few of my own basketball clinics. That's where I really found something I love to do, working with kids in the gym. One of my clinics actually opened a door for coaching kids on a much larger platform. In addition to some of my own basketball programs, I am a youth coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers Academy. I work with kids between the ages of five and fourteen all over the state of Ohio.

I love what I do because I remember those coaches and players that I looked up to as a little one. Those people made a huge impact on why I played and continued to play when things got tough over the years and now I want to be that person to other young athletes. Some of our participants with the Cavs Academy are the star players on their travel teams and then others have never even picked up a basketball before. Why can't I be the reason that those kids pick up a ball tomorrow and the next day and the day after that? Why can’t I be the reason those kids want to keep playing?

Doing what I love and doing so with Cleveland Cavaliers across my shirt is a big deal to me. The amount of kids that I have gotten to interact with and share the game of basketball with has grown tremendously from the smaller community access I had with my local recreation departments. Being able to be one of the faces for the Cavs that goes out into the surrounding Ohio communities and works with kids who will one day make up the future of our society is something I take pride in.

Not only am I trying to touch the lives of young athletes, teaching these kids is just outright fun. They are so pure in their efforts and have nothing holding them back. It can be challenging at times, working with kids will always be. As Cavs Academy coaches it is our job to make the environment enriching, positive, and we want them have fun while learning but we also correct their mistakes to make them better basketball players. Nothing beats seeing a child’s smile when they score or the excitement they get when they play games with or against us coaches at camp. A simple high five and a “Great job” can go a long way.

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