Preface by Coach Janx
We believe that sports builds and strengthens communities and society. Growth, enhancement and success of our sport throughout all communities and niche talent pools, regardless of the financial background of participants, can provide many opportunities to develop our sport and, more broadly and importantly, also our communities. This attracts us to the organisation David Spear setup called the Free Throw Foundation (FTF). FTF aims to provide the same opportunities for all regardless of financial challenges they may face.
Before we look at the FTF let's learn a bit more about David:
When you look at achievements there are people that are a success in so many diverse endeavours. This is done through hard work, seemingly no fear of failure and with a great team around them. That has been the pattern of success and leadership for David. Be it as a National Basketball Basketball League (NBL) premiership player, premiership player at South East Australia Basketball League (SEABL) level (as Team Captain), triple premiership player and captain at State League level. Few have won premierships at all 3 levels of Australian basketball by the way. He has coached State teams for South Australia, won multiple state junior championships with West Adelaide, as well as a State League title with the club. Professionally he has held numerous, challenging corporate leadership positions including, up until recently, with Basketball SA (peak basketball body in the state of South Australia) and the Adelaide 36ers (our local NBL Pro club) as a board member. He has even studied at Harvard.
PICTURED: 1986 Invincibles. Considered one of the greatest NBL teams of all time, with David on the far left of the middle row.
PICTURED: Still the invincibles. The team came together for one of the Free Throw Foundation Lunches. This is a great way to recognise these teams and respect our history. Many success stories in life after basketball in this picture too.
Today David continues to build the foundation as Chairman, with his team. FTF is an organisation that does significant work for basketball in South Australia. It has a clear, acutely defined focus; to help athletes participate in tournaments and events they otherwise could not afford to, without assistance. This includes, but is not limited to, High Performance Athletes. National Championships are almost invariably the gateway to national and international opportunities in Australia. Some of our most talented athletes out of South Australia do not come from a privileged background and the opportunities for growth, development and talent ID in Australia at state level is currently expensive. Personally I am sure a number of athletes I've been fortunate to coach at club and state level could not have participated in National Championships without the Free Throw Foundation's financial support. In fact these athletes have often gone onto even bigger and better things and some of these athletes are listed on our website as Featured Athletes.
In this article David shares his observations on society that he has observed through his basketball coaching and playing background which caused him to decide to setup the foundation. I feel that being able to setup something like the foundation, that changes lives, is inspiring for us here at High Performance Hoops Network and we are sure many in our sport who aim to make a real difference in the lives of young athletes will find it inspiring too.
Over to Coach Spear......