By STEPHEN MARTIN, Guest Writer
Alley-oops, crossovers and three-pointers did a whole lot more than dazzle the eyes of onlookers at the Fieldhouse on Saturday night.
The University of Michigan-Dearborn Fieldhouse hosted The Flight Squad. This group is similar to the Harlem Globetrotters which hosts a basketball game against “local all-stars” to raise money for athletic facilities for Detroit MADE, a non-profit organization who organized the event.
Detroit MADE was founded by UM-Dearborn assistant basketball coach Darius Lewis and Darius Waters in 2014. The organization has no office or gym of their own and works with recreational centers in the Detroit metro area to give children, K-12, a place to learn about sports in a unique way, according to Lewis.
“Detroit MADE is about bringing the student back into the student athlete,” Lewis said.
“Essentially what we do is study sports. The idea is, kids are already interested in sports, student athletes in particular, they want to learn about it. We do it in a way where they are still building (academically). We test them, we give them a goal, a plan and they build the same study habits and skills that you need to study math, reading, and writing through studying sports.
“We help everybody, our target market is the middle to high school age bracket, just because those kids are more interested in their sport at that time. But we’ll work with babies if you bring them,” Lewis said with a laugh.
The player/coach/emcee of the night was Brittany Dorsey, a former star basketball player at Providence University and professional player in Ukraine. Dorsey’s squad consisted of “former professional athletes and Division 1 players who have played on teams in the USA as well as overseas,” according to the Flight Squad website.
Lewis said it was her fifth year playing/coaching/emceeing.
“The biggest thing is the kids,” she said.
The Flight Squad won the game 80-77, but youths in the Detroit Metro area were the true winners.