Bulls' Youth League Offers Kids Unique Opportunity To Realize Dreams
Posted April 7, 2003 9:30 a.m. EDT
DURHAM, N.C. — Only a few days into spring, the boys of summer are getting into full swing.
As the Durham Bulls got ready to open their home season Thursday, there were some youngsters working to perhaps don the Bulls' uniform one day.
Coach James Minor and the Walltown Braves have a lot of work to do if they want to repeat as champions of the Durham Bulls Youth Athletic League.
"It was fun, but it took a lot of hard work," said 11-year-old Barius Brown. "We had to practice hard and prayed hard before every game that we would win, and we made it happen."
Many of last years' star players are gone. But the challenge is a labor of love for Minor. He realizes the unique advantage his kids have, thanks to the Bulls.
"They pay for everything," Minor said. "Hopefully, this year, they're talking about getting shoes for all the kids.
"They pay for everything. All the kids have to do is sign up and play."
For some kids, it's the only opportunity to realize their young dreams. Some of them wouldn't be able to play or wouldn't have the equipment to play.
"It's free, and you get more stuff," said 9-year-old Noor Mansoor, who was in another league last year.
There are other benefits, as well.
"With my son being able to participate in different sports like this, without it having the cost and things, it allows him to have increased self-esteem," said Cynthia Harris, the mother of one of the players.
There's a building process for self-esteem, no matter how big or how small the children are. And the longer they participate, the more confident they'll be.
It's all because of the power of one man's commitment, and the committment of one organization to make a difference in a young person's life.
"If you can't make it out here, when you get to junior high, high school, " Minor said, "if you can't do it here, you're not going to be able to make it there.
"So, I just watch out for the kids, man. You have to. I love kids. I love kids."