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Eighth Grade Girls Growing the Game of Basketball in Cleveland

February 5, 2020
Courtesy of Nike

Two eighth-grade girls from Independence Middle School are sharing their love of sports with other girls their age. Casey A. and Lauren V. were recently selected by the Cavaliers to take part in the inaugural “Game Growers” program, a partnership between Nike and the NBA and WNBA. The initiative gives eighth-grade girls the tools and resources they need to increase girls’ participation in sports in their local communities. All 12 WNBA teams and 24 NBA teams are participating in Game Growers.

Casey and Lauren submitted their ideas of how to grow the amount of girls in sports in Northeast Ohio and were chosen from many applicants to represent their school, Cleveland, the state of Ohio and the Cavs.

The two girls were surprised at their school by Cavs Academy coach Jessica Davis and Cavs legend Campy Russell, who announced that the pair was officially being named Game Growers. They each received a certificate and basketball, which they were presented in front of the entire school. The girls’ families also surprised them by being in attendance to join in the celebration.

Coach Jess, Casey and Lauren just returned from a leadership training camp at Nike’s world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. There they joined 70 other girls from teams across the country to bond, refine their ideas, hear from female members of Nike’s leadership and past and present WNBA players and many other activities.

Next up, Casey and Lauren will present their ideas to girls attending two upcoming Cavs Academy clinics.


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