The Vineyard Streetball Classic team will be at Niantic Park, Oak Bluffs, MA, Martha’s Vineyard for pre-registration :
Sunday July 1st from 2pm -4pm
Monday July 2nd from 2pm- 4pm & 7pm – 9pm
Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Vineyard Streetball Classic…everyone welcome…..
My friend Mike D. (no S), loves everything and anything about the subject of basketball. Since we were kids in middle school, basketball and music were his two loves, and he was rarely seen without a basketball in his hand, or dribbling the ball while asking if you’d heard the newest “jam” on the radio. Mike is one of those rare people who everyone likes and who is authentic without artifice, ever. Mike simply loves to play basketball win or lose, of course, he loves to win but Mike is not entirely interested in the accolades and cheers from the crowd, (he learned to love that though), he just wants to play the game to the level he expects of himself.
As luck would have it, Mike grew up down the street from the very basketball court where the Vineyard Streeetball Classic has been held every year for the past ten years. Back then, Mike could be found at the basketball court, day after day, practicing foul shots, jump shots, dribbling (“with the left hand and switching to the right”) and lay-ups, perfecting his game, preparing for his next game or reliving a past game. If you hung out with him, you also spent time reliving the past game’s ups and downs with him, again and again. Mike’s basketball education grew, as he was schooled each summer by the older kids who hung out at the basketball courts, perfecting their skills, and encouraging, challenging, and supporting his love of the game every step of the way. Now Mike is passing the torch to students from around the Northeast.
It’s funny, although by no means a surprising, that Mike has built his life around both of his passions and used his creativity and business savvy, and his (Smooth) people skills, to conceive and build Vineyard Streetball Classic, an annual summer tournament program for students, ages 10 to 18, who eat, sleep, and breathe the game of basketball, just like Mike. With his nephew, Omar, and a coalition of close friends and supporters, Mike has managed to organize, promote, advertise, and enlist sponsors to support Vineyard Streetball Classic for the past ten years.
The Vineyard Streetball Classic will be held again this year, at the same basketball court that Mike played on as a kid, down the street from his old house, “if you build it, they will come”. This year they will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Vineyard Streetball Classic and family and friends alike will cheer them on once more as the visions of a few fulfill the dreams of many young students who love the game of basketball and get the wonderful opportunity to play in a summer tournament on Martha’s Vineyard, year after year.
Mike still talks about music and basketball but now he also loves to talk about Vineyard Streetball Classic so in a way, nothing much has changed as we’ve gotten older. The truth is though, Mike has taught me about following your passions, carving out your niche and creating a life that fits you exclusively.
Mike has reminded me that whether its basketball, or painting, or writing, or business, we all have to follow our individual paths in creating the kind of life only we can dream about. In a way, we are all charged with the task of co-creating the life that gives us joy, purpose, and hopefully, serves the people around us, for there is no doubt, that is the true meaning of success.