BOSTON, Mass. (March 27, 2012) – Senior Isaura Guzman (Union City, N.J.) of the Stevens Institute of Technology women’s basketball team has been named one of two worldwide recipients of a $25,000 grant from the 2012 Shooting Touch Basketball Program. This ‘Basketball Peace Corps’ “grants graduating college seniors the opportunity to travel the world and partake in a 10-month international work program using the platform of basketball to help foster education and influence positive social change in third world communities.”
Guzman is a four-year letterwinner for the Sevens women’s basketball program and was a team captain in her senior season. A popular and positive presence throughout her four years on the Stevens campus, Guzman will embark on a world tour where she will spend five months in a country of her choice (Rwanda is among her top destinations), five months in a country of the organization’s choice, and two weeks working with the National Basketball Association’s Basketball Without Borders Program, with that location to be determined by the NBA.
The program focuses on teaching the HELP curriculum, which includes the four topics of
H - Health promotion and disease prevention
E - Education in gender equality and leadership
L - Learning basketball on-court skills as well as strength, conditioning and nutrition
P - Providing places of play (building courts, outdoor spaces and community enhancements).
"Shooting Touch could not have picked a more generous, outgoing and heartfelt person for this position,” said Stevens women’s basketball coach Bri Fecteau. “I know Isa will represent Stevens and the women's basketball program in a positive light. It has been my privilege to be a part of her academic and athletic life. She has been such an integral part of leading our team to success on and off the court and she will now be impacting the lives of so many more."
Stevens director of athletics Russell Rogers continued: “We could not be prouder of Isa and everything she has accomplished. She is a true credit to our athletic program and the entire Stevens campus. Shooting Touch is getting a remarkable young woman and I am excited to think about the positive impact she is going to have on the communities she visits.”
Shooting Touch, Inc. has overseas affiliates across the globe, including The Kossengwe Foundation in Nigeria, the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders Program in Africa, Hoops 4 Hope in South Africa, CUFA in Brazil and the NBA's Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy.
The Stevens community played a part in helping Guzman earn the grant, coming together for her YouTube video application that was a large part of the application process.
This is the third year of the Shooting Touch program. Previous grantees have worked in Senegal, Brazil, Cape Verde, South Africa and Zimbabwe. This year, two student-athletes were awarded grants: Guzman and Casey Stockton (Ann Arbor, Mich.) of Denison University.
The grant will be officially awarded at the organization’s gala in September and Guzman and Stockton’s plans will be finalized at that time as well.