By Victor Barnett
Executive Director & Founder, and FCBC Board Member Running Rebels Community Organization
Since 1980, I have continuously worked to encourage young people to pursue their dreams – making them a reality, rather than wasting their talents, or falling victim to the dangers of street life. Being the Founder of Running Rebels Community Organization at the age of 19 has proved to be a blessing that proves beyond measure to young people in our community that hard work and determination to succeed will produce the same immeasurable rewards for them.
Over the years, Running Rebels has developed a track record for our work with “at-risk” youth – through programs and services (including mentoring, tutoring, crisis stabilization, anger management, daily living skills) that not only aim to help them appreciate the importance of unhealthy choices, but our agency has also helped prevent countless youth from becoming victim to the negative influences that plague our society. Continuing in our 32–year tradition of promoting unity in the community, it is a great honor and privilege for me to welcome the 6th Annual Fresh Coast Basketball Classic (FCBC), and sincerely thank all the individuals, groups, and sponsors that have committed to making this three-day event the most exciting year we have had!
The focus of the FCBC is to promote education, family and community via an annual Historically Black College and University (HBCU) basketball tournament, and College/Resource Fair. Every year, FCBC gives away college scholarships to deserving area high school seniors to help them with their financial needs. The College/Resource Fair will be held on November 21, 2012 at the Delta Center (formerly Frontier Airlines Center ) from 9AM – 4:30PM, and the FCBC tournament games will be played on November 23 and 24, at Wisconsin Lutheran College.
The College and Resource Fair allow Milwaukee youth and families to explore the many educational opportunities that are available throughout the United States . Although the FCBC tournament brings the HBCU experience to Milwaukee , the College Fair also showcases non-HBCU schools. College Alumni are on-site to share their experiences and give guidance to youth who are considering a post-high school education, and both the UNCF and Thurgood Marshall Fund are on hand to provide information about scholarship opportunities.
While many prestigious HBCU Football Classics exist, the FCBC is one of the only pre-conference, NCAA sanctioned tournaments in the U.S. exclusively showcasing HBCU basketball with tremendous growth potential! Teams come from throughout the country, and their alumni – many being our own Milwaukee natives – are sure to follow, helping to highlight the more positive contributions made by our community – being a positive force in communities across the nation.
While the Fresh Coast Basketball Classic events are targeted primarily toward the African-American population, the entire program is designed with the intention of bringing the entire community together in honor of those students who have made the decision to be positive role models, and good ambassadors for our community. So, I would like to invite everyone to come out to the events, and join our continued efforts to provide opportunities for our youth – preparing them to become better role models and leaders in our community and throughout the country.
See Fresh Coast Basketball Classic and College Fair schedule for 2012 below: