As I was walking around the SSE Arena I heard someone say to a friend, “5 years ago would you ever think we would be sitting in Belfast watching a NCAA basketball tournament”. When I heard this it was impossible not to smile because I realized I was in the midst of something special. Special in a sense where the term basketball is much more than a game comes to life. Sure it is a great sport, but the possibilities with it are limitless. A city where basketball isn’t the biggest of sports, a continent where the NCAA has never landed a tournament, and a small charity who organized the whole thing with 6 members where Marc Mulholland, Executive Director of the Belfast Classic, put so eloquently “Punched well above there weight class”; the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic exceeded everyone’s expectations.
All in all I could not have been prouder of what occurred. From the volunteers, the necessary sponsorships, the tedious tasks, and the hours upon hours that people put into it…the result was truly a successful one. 10,000 fans along with millions of CBS viewers witnessed a spectacle that was for a bigger picture. It wasn’t about filling anyone’s pockets with cash rather it was about filling kids hearts with hope or a purpose, which can all be instilled by the work that Sport Changes Life can do. The best part is this is only the beginning and I am blessed to be part of the journey!