Tag Archives: Full Court Peace

COVID Roundup: Hoops; VFW; Rocks; More

As gyms, playgrounds and recreational facilities remain closed, the driveway basketball hoop looks better than ever. There are tons in Westport. Some get plenty of use. Others sit idle; the basketball players have moved away.

Full Court Peace is a Norwalk-based charity that collects unwanted portable basketball hoops, cleans them up, then gives them to boys and girls in Norwalk, Bridgeport and Stamford.

The organization was started by Mike Evans, a Weston native who played basketball at Hamilton College and semi-professionally in Belfast. In Northern Ireland he brought Protestant and Catholic boys together to play as one team.

Email mike@fullcourtpeace.org with your name, address, and a picture of the hoop you hope to donate. Evans will pick it up at your house, and set it up in a driveway a few miles away. Then he’ll send you a photo of the boy or girl who gets it.

Financial help is welcome to keep this effort going; it requires a U-Haul and manual labor. Click here to help.

Like many local organizations, the Joseph J. Clinton Veterans of Foreign of Wars Post 399 has been closed, and lost access to funds.

But there’s good news. The VFW says: “We are honored and extends our deepest appreciation to the Westport Young Woman’s League for awarding us a generous Super Grant of $20,000. Throughout the past 100 years, VFW Post 399 has been the heart and soul of the veteran community and a Westport institution.

The Super Grant will make a huge difference in helping with our much needed roof repairs and allowing us to continue in our support for both veterans and community. We look forward in partnering with the WYWL to help the community and provide affordable meal programs.”

Stones bearing inspirational messages pop up all over town. This one at Grace Salmon Park caught Marc Frankel’s eye.

I’m guessing whoever painted this was young. If I were an art teacher, I’d give him or her an “A” for creativity. An English teacher would give it an “F.”

And finally … a little Spirit. “It’s nature’s way of telling you something’s wrong …”

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.