What an exceptional inaugural year for EPIC! The teams had much success on the court, earning 1st place in 10 tournaments and a host of 2nd and 3rd place finishes. But the real success was what the EPIC boys accomplished off of the court.
The boys began a month and a half of training for tournament play in March, which was highlighted by their EPIC Sunday workouts. EPIC Sundays were the most acclaimed program by our parents. This workshop comprised of both spiritual and physical stations. The EPIC teams were divided by age and rotated through three stations: devotions, basketball skill training and speed & agility training. The boys really enjoyed the devotionals, led by youth pastors in the area. Skill training was led by a number of highly qualified guest instructors like former NBA players Everette Stephens and Kevin Holmes.
As the season progressed, the 6th-9th grade teams participated in a series of leadership development workshops, led by Jeron Shelton (founder/CEO of KAMYLIN Worldwide). These sessions received tremendous feedback from the EPIC players. Topics such as leadership, power & influence, values & ethics and conflict management, were incorporated with fun, interactive exercises for each team to emphasize the lesson’s objectives.
Two of the most fun events for the EPIC families were the service trips to Feed My Starving Children and seed packing at Willow Creek Community Church. This was a time for our boys to get perspective of how truly blessed they are, and help others that are less fortunate. While jamming to some tunes, the players and parents were split into several groups and truly had a blast as they worked at a furious pace to have their group pack the most meals for starving children in Africa. During these events, our young people were able to provide meals to feed hundreds of other young people for an entire year!
The EPIC season concluded with a celebratory banquet for the players. The players gathered in their shirts and ties, at a banquet hall, for a formal meal. Entertainment was provided by the DePaul Gospel Choir, and each team was recognized in front of everyone for all of their great accomplishments throughout the season. The banquet was concluded with an eloquent address from long time college professor and former U-46 board member, Joyce Fountain. This proved to be a great time to celebrate each player and showcase EPIC to the Fox Valley community!