Full Court Peace

In the midst of March Madness, maybe you can find a moment’s rest from basketball at church.

Or not.

Tomorrow (Sunday, March 20, 4 p.m. at St. Luke’s), the Interfaith Council of Westport and Weston is sponsoring a lecture called “Full Court Peace.”

It’s more than a gimmicky name.

Michael Evans

Westonite Michael Evans — the 28-year-old founder of Full Court Peace — will talk about how his organization uses basketball as a means of diplomacy in war-torn parts of the world.

Evans knows both hoops and kumbaya.

He played pro basketball in Belfast — about as far from, say, the Utah Jazz as you can get.  But despite the violence plaguing that city — or maybe because of it — Evans formed the first half-Catholic, half-Protestant boys high school basketball team there.

The success of the Belfast Blazers — which traveled to, among other places, less-rough Weston — inspired him to explore what sports could accomplish in places like Cuba and Mexico.

Evans has met the Dalai Lama, as well as youth in paramilitary organizations and senior members of the IRA.  In Havana he had to elude government officials, while in drug war-torn Ciudad Juarez he traveled in bulletproof cars, with armed guards.

Evans is now studying at Harvard University, in a program involved the Graduate School of Education, Kennedy School of Government and the business school.  Life in Cambridge — on and off the court — is less rough than before.

The Interfaith Council encourages parents to bring their children — especially those interested in sports — on Sunday.  Refreshments will follow Evans’ talk.

Which, presumably, will be “yo mama”-free.

2 responses to “Full Court Peace

  1. The Dude Abides

    Nice and I am sure Michael is a wonderful human being but I would love to see his efforts focused on this country and maybe some programs in our inner cities to help youths there.

  2. Maggie Feczko

    I had the great pleasure of hearing his story at a Sunrise Rotary meeting and I strongly encourage everyone to come out to hear this inspiring young man.