Anurag Reddy, a student at UC Berkeley and sports commentator for Stanford University’s radio station, recently volunteered with PeacePlayers-Cyprus to help them out with their Summer Camp. Each summer, in the mountain town of Agros, 64 Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot youth spend a week living together, playing basketball, and building new friendships at the PeacePlayers-Cyprus Basketball Camp. Below Anurag talks about his incredible experience building bridges through sport.
I was looking for a volunteer opportunity to keep busy during the summer, and when I discovered PeacePlayers International, I knew it was a match made in heaven. I have always had a strong passion for the game of basketball, and knew first hand the good it could do.
Awarded the chance to travel to Cyprus and volunteer for PPI-CY, I was very excited. Before I went to Cyprus, I wanted to do my part and help raise money for Peace Players International. I decided to host a 3-on-3 basketball tournament in my neighborhood. It turned out to be a rousing success, drawing more than 40 players, and raising over $140.
When the day finally came to leave for Cyprus, I was hopeful that the trip would be great. My week at the PeacePlayers Cyprus Summer Camp surpassed even my wildest dreams. Everyone was so welcoming, and the kids were terrific. It was nice to be able to bring people together through the beautiful game of basketball. It was also a privilege to be able to work with NBA coach Doug Overton and WBNA champion Kelly Schumacher. They were simply amazing, both with great basketball knowledge as well as the ability to work well with kids. I learned so much from them and the other coaches that I will take with me. Most importantly, I saw the kids show tremendous growth throughout the week, and was grateful that I could be a part of it. Whether it was playing basketball, sharing a meal, or just hanging out with each other, it was a special experience that I will never forget. I was able to forge friendships that will last a lifetime, and I can’t wait to go back next year!