SEED Week 2017

SEED WEEK 2017

NYC -- Each summer, the SEED Project takes over New York City with a week of activities to showcase our programs and raise funds to support our mission to empower the next generation of African leaders through education and basketball.  SEED Week also provides the opportunity for our alumni who are studying in america to reunite with their former classmates.

This year, more than 400 guests participated in programming and events throughout the week, and helped us raise $75,000. 

The week started with our 5th annual Summer Party fundraiser, was followed by our Student-Athletes Career Services Seminar, and ended with our annual Team Africa vs Team NY All-Star game. Thank you to all of our event and program sponsors and guests who helped make this another memorable SEED Week.

If you could not attend and would like to support SEED, please consider making a tax-deductible donation below.

Please enjoy our recap and photos below.  


SEED Summer Party

June 21st, 2017 // Marquee Nightclub, NY

The SEED family turned popular nightclub, Marquee NY, into a West-African themed celebration.  More than 300 guests helped us raise $75,000 to support our programs in Senegal, Gambia, and the United States.  

Honorees:  Leon Rose (Leadership Award), Alec Hooff (Service Award).  

Guests heard from our 10 alumni in attendance, including a keynote address from Ramatoulaye Sy, a graduate of SEED Girls.  Rama spoke about the importance of programs like SEED back at home in Senegal to give women a platform to express themselves and find their leader within.

Top West African chef, Pierre Thiam, and music group, Eyespy, provided guests with great food and positive vibes.

A special thank you to our event sponsors!

Please click HERE for photo-booth pictures.


Student-Athlete Career Services Day

June 22nd, 2017 // WME | IMG, NY

For the 4th consecutive year, we hosted our Student-Athlete Career Services Day to support our student's ongoing professional development.  This year, we held our workshop at WME | IMG, the world's largest sport and entertainment agency, and partnered with leading education non-profit, Noble Impact, to deliver powerful job training workshops for student-athletes from SEED and New Heights NYC.  

The day began with a keynote speech from WME | IMG top sports agent, Jordan Bazant, and attorney, Keien Williams.  The speakers shared their experiences as former student-athletes and how they transitioned from the playing field to the business world. 

Then, Noble Impact hosted a 4-hour workshop that led the students through a series of activities to help prepare them for the next step in their careers.  The activities empowered each student to effectively communicate their own stories as a means to help them network and open up doors of opportunity.  

Photographer, John David Pittman, captured the entire day and provided each student with impactful portrait photographs for their LinkedIn profiles and resumes.  

Please enjoy the pictures below.


Team Africa vs Team New York

June 23rd, 2017 // Dyckman Park, NY

For the 4th straight year, we teamed-up with Dyckman, Overtime, and Nike, to host one of the most highly anticipated streetball events of the summer.  SEED Academy alumni, and select local NY student-athletes with African roots, took on a group of talented NYC high school all-stars.

Due to rain, the game was moved from Dyckman Park to Johnson Community Center on 115th Street and Lexington Ave.  Fans enjoyed a fast paced, highlight reel filled game that saw Team NY take down Team Africa for the 4th straight year.

Stay tuned for a full gallery of images shot by Steven Counts.

Hoop Forum 2017 Recap

Our 15th annual Hoop Forum (Dakar & Thies, Senegal) brought together top non-profits, corporations, and individuals using sport as a tool for development across Africa.  From our Nike basketball skills combine for the top 80 boys and girls from across Senegal to a financial literacy workshop to our Hoop Forum All-Star game at the African Renaissance Monument, it was truly a memorable weekend.

The 4-day event (May 4-7, 2017) took guests on a cultural, food, music and sport tour of Senegal.  More than 500 international guests, African basketball legends, SEED student-athletes and local basketball coaches enjoyed a balance of elite basketball camps, community give-back events, concerts, cultural activities, networking opportunities and more.  

A special thank you to all of our sponsors:  Center for Global Sports, Microsoft, Mimi and Papa NDiaye, NBA, UNFPA, and World of Money.

If you could not attend and would like to support our more than 2,000 student-athletes, please consider making a tax deductible donation below.

Elite Basketball Skills Showcase // May 4-6 // Thies, Senegal

Top coaches and athletic trainers from around the world joined the Senegalese basketball community to host three days of basketball skill camps for the top-80 young men and women under 18 in Senegal.  Professional coaches from the NBA and FIBA also conducted coaching clinics for local coaches.  This year, we had coaches and players attend from across the globe:  Canada, Cameroon, France, Germany, Nigeria, Slovenia, South Africa, The Gambia, Togo, and the United States.

Enjoy this cool drone shot of SEED's facility in Thies, Senegal by world renowned photographer, Kevin Couliau.

GALLERY

Sport for Development Conference // May 4 // Dakar, Senegal

At this year's Sport for Development Conference, influential minds from the public and private sectors engaged in thoughtful discussions on how to use sport as a tool for youth development. Across four different panels, speakers discussed how to strengthen partnerships between the public and private sectors and non-profits, best practices from top organizations using sports as a tool for social development, the intersection of sports and technology, and the final panel was composed of former SEED student-athletes that have used sport as a pathway to pursue education.

For a full list of speakers, please click here.

GALLERY

SEED Culture Night // May 5 // Thies, Senegal

In 2015, we launched SEED Culture, an organization-wide effort to honor Senegal's diverse cultural roots.  The culmination of each year's SEED Culture workshops is a performance by SEED Rise students at the Hoop Forum. This year's performance focused on cultural values, and through music, dance, and, theater our students continue to show why SEED is so much bigger than basketball.  

GALLERY

Hoop Forum Gala // May 6 // Dakar, Senegal

Set at the Terrou-Bi in Dakar, this year's Hoop Forum Gala had more than 75 guests enjoy a three course meal and emotional speeches from African basketball legends.  The SEED executive team, including Amadou Fall, Joe Lopez, Noah Levine and Mohamed Niang, thanked guests for their generous support attending the 15th annual Hoop Forum, and laid out SEED's vision to build the premier leadership academy in Africa while expanding their SEED Rise model to countries across the continent.  

GALLERY

Hoop Forum All-Star Game // May 7 // Dakar, Senegal

This year's Hoop Forum culminated with an All-Star game and Dunk Contest at the African Renaissance Monument in Dakar.  The visually stunning background was the perfect end to a weekend of amazing activities.  

GALLERY

All photographs by Frank Boyer.

SEED Speaks: Learn the Art of Public Speaking Part IV

SEED Alum, Cheikh Sy Gives Back

For our last session of SEED Speaks (our 3rd communications session), we invited SEED alum and owner of Eme Designs, Cheikh Sy.


He not only talked to the kids about public speaking, he also stressed the importance of knowing oneself, thinking about the future and constantly pushing yourself to be better, having a realistic view and making the best of what you have now.
Cheikh gave the kids a lot to ponder: Who they are outside SEED? Do they deserve what they have? What are they doing to seize big and small opportunities that come their way? He talked about using your peers as mirrors and using their feedback to help improve yourself or recognize talents you didn’t know you had.


Cheikh’s old coach, Idy Cissoko, gave closing remarks sharing a few anecdotes about him and commending him for the man he has become today. The main message: you don’t have to be a basketball player to succeed in life.


With 3 communications session, an etiquette class, a 4- part debate club and a day of giving back to the community, SEED Speaks project has come to an end. It is now up to us to continue to work with the kids and give them the opportunity to keep practicing what they learned throughout the course of this project.

SEED Speaks: Final Debate

During our 4th and last debate session, 2 groups debated on the issue of polygamy. The judges (SEED tutors Mr. Ndao, Mr. Ndiaye and Coach Idy Cissoko) had the chance to ask questions and give their feedback. The debate included 10 minutes of cross-debating (which could have continued all night since both teams were very passionate about the topic :) and questions from the public. Students discussed religion, law, tradition and cited examples from their communities. The grand prize winners were members of the group that argued in favor of polygamy.


Since the debate took place during the Hoop Forum, campers also had a chance to participate. Although this was the last debate for the SEED Speaks workshop series, we look forward to continuing our partnership with students from Sup De Co and other schools and universities to help our kids keep practicing their public speaking skills. They have grown tremendously. Those who were once shy and had difficulty expressing themselves, can now talk confidently and convincingly. We want to continue to empower them to express themselves freely and clearly. SEED is grateful to H.O.P.E for Senegal for their support.

SEED Speaks Debate 3 & SEED Gives

During our 3rd session, the semi-finals, 4 groups debated on: women in leadership positions and media censorship. The judges (SEED tutors Mr. Diop, Mr. Ndiaye and Mr Ndao) had the chance to ask questions and give their feedback. This time around, the debate included 5 minutes of cross-debating and questions from the public. 2 winning teams were selected. It was exciting to see how the students’ passion for the topics grew. They defended their stance and points of view with statistics and specific examples. Students who had already been disqualified were encouraged to keep participating in the sessions to learn and ask their counterparts questions. We were pleasantly surprised to see that almost all the original participants showed up.

Everyone had a chance to win prizes by asking groups good questions and answering questions from us (What is SEED’s mission and values? for example). Who will walk away with the grand prize? We’ll soon find out.


The next day, during SEED’s 2nd annual Pout SEED RISE Camp organized by SEED Alumni Mactar Mbodj and Mamadou Thia Diop, SEED Girls had a chance to give back by presenting public speaking tips to youth. Using what they learned from communications and etiquette sessions, they taught youth what to do and things to avoid when presenting in public. One of SEED's core values is "Giving Back". We are happy to have been able to do so in such a big way.