Brandon Gardner (BG) of the University of Southern California (USC) enhanced smiles in partnership with KEEN Los Angeles in the City of Montebello and helped Tidal League finish the summer off with our last sponsorship on August 27th.
Brandon, Mr. New York State Basketball is a true leader on and off the court.
Brandon was committed to serving children and youth with different abilities and ages, promoting integration and inclusion for all at the Catherine Hensell Youth Center. KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now) Los Angeles’ mission, vision and mandate aligned with Brandon’s, making for a great clinic in Montebello.
Empower youth with disabilities and impact volunteer coaches through participation in free, non-competitive, one-on-one programs of physical activity and fun, supporting all participants’ overall health and well-being.
The afternoon began with session one, where we saw children ages five to 12 enjoy stations, group play and circle time with one-to-one support, which was instructed by Anthony Lipe-Ladenheim and led by BG.
Session two followed shortly after that with youth ages 13 to 21. Brandon led both sessions through a warm-up, stretching, station visits, group participation and encouragement, and some one-on-one basketball games and fun. Through circle time, Brandon asked all 40 attendees what they liked and learned at the clinic before giving out his signed t-shirts, snacks and a goodbye gift.
A pound forward at his 6’8 frame, he is in his first year at USC and one of the newest members of the Trojans family whose ultimate goal is to give-
Message from Brandon:
They say silence is golden, and for most of my life, I have always been perceived as the quieter one among my family and friends. Like basketball, I let my game and actions do the talking. However, as I’ve grown, I’ve learned that my voice is needed now more than ever to encourage those who whisper to scream with pride about their communities. I can’t wait to scream with joy alongside more campers in the future.