Maureen Taggart, Northeastern University | 2018 Health Corps Fellow, Rwanda
Mosie is an alum from Northeastern University, where she studied psychology and played basketball all four years. Post graduation, Mosie explored the opportunity to be a fellow with Shooting Touch after hearing about the experience from a former college coach. Mosie always knew basketball had an impact on peoples lives, but Shooting Touch gave her a whole new meaning to how powerful sport can be. That is why now you can find her working at a restaurant and middle school, but most importantly, you can find Mosie as the intramural basketball coach after school.
Nick Kairys, Ohio University | 2018 Health Corps Fellow, Rwanda
Nick didn’t necessarily grow up with a passion for basketball, but adopted a love for the sport as a teenager to coincide with his commitment to football. He is a proud alum of Ohio University in Athens, OH, where he studied sports journalism and sports management. While contemplating his next step after graduation, Nick first heard of Shooting Touch while listening to a favorite podcast of his, The Lowe Post, with guest Jackie MacMullan. Nick’s fellowship year consisted of searching for a story to tell, and devoting his time and energy to overseeing Nyamirama and Rukara court. He now works on the NBA’s Digital and Social Publishing Team in Secaucus, New Jersey.
Liz Jenkins, Columbia International University | 2018 Health Corps Fellow, Rwanda
Liz grew up in a very sports centered family, always competing against one (if not more) of her five siblings. She continued on to graduate from Columbia International University in April 2017, where she studied Sport Management and was a four year starter for the Women's Basketball Program. Post grad she worked for a non-profit out of Atlanta until she heard about Shooting Touch through Jackie MacMullan’s ESPN article, and knew she had to get involved with the organization. She spent most of her fellowship year in Kayonza overseeing the programming at the Mukarange court, working on Health Curriculum, or making preparations for All-Star League and tournaments.
Jordan Dillard, Villanova University | 2017 Health Corps Fellow, Rwanda
Jordan came to Shooting Touch as a recent graduate of Villanova University where she majored in English and minored in Communications. She played on the women’s basketball team for all four years, and served as a captain for the 2016-2017 season. She is the fourth of Courtney and Gayla Dillard’s five children, and she grew up just outside of Atlanta with her brothers and sisters. Jordan believes that her experiences on and off the court have shaped her into the person that she is today, and is now teaching others how basketball can cultivate self-worth and communal respect. Jordan had an amazing time in Rwanda; she was coaching at two courts - Kayonza and in Rukara - and even played for the Ubumwe professional women's team in Kigali.
Matt Barr, Bentley University | 2017 Health Corps Fellow, Rwanda
Matt came to Shooting Touch as a recent graduate of Bentley University where he majored in marketing and minored in computer information systems. Matt was a member of the men’s basketball team for all four years at Bentley. A New England native, Matt hails from Stratham, New Hampshire where he grew up with his parents, Gary and Pat, and older brother, Chris. Aside from basketball, he is passionate about the arts and nature - when he isn’t in the gym playing, you can find Matt outside enjoying his natural surroundings. As someone for whom basketball has meant so much and brought incredible opportunity, Matt enjoyed every minute of his time in Rwanda. Matt was coaching in Rwinkwavu and Nyamirama while is living with the then In Country Program Director, Chloe Rothman.
Chloe Rothman, Merrimack College | 2016 Health Corps Fellow, Rwanda
Chloe grew up in the Boston area with three brothers. She is a graduate of Merrimack College where she studied Sports Medicine. She was a member of the Varsity Basketball team during her four years at Merrimack. From there, Chloe went on to play basketball professionally for a year in Israel. Chloe loves to coach basketball to athletes of all ages and abilities; she is big on teaching confidence and loves building personal relationships with the players and coaches that she has been able to work with.
Chloe had an amazing year in Rwanda, where her and Jake grew the program by over 200%. Chloe lead the expansion of the women's and girls program at her courts and is a crowd favorite both on and off the court. Chloe has first took on the role of the In Country Program Director, and has been promoted to the Director of Programming for Shooting Touch, spending half of the year in Rwanda and half in Boston, MA.
Jake Mendys, UNC | 2016 Health Corps Fellow, Rwanda
Jake is from Durham, North Carolina where he was a standout on the Carrboro HS basketball team. From there, he attended UNC Chapel Hill where he played for the UNC JV team for two years. He graduated with a degree in Business Administration with distinction and an emphasis on entrepreneurship. His prior work includes an internship in finance and a summer with Nike's Track & Field Sports Marketing Team. Fun Fact: Was a member of the NC All State Chorus in 8th Grade!
Jake had a great year when he was in Rwanda, where he took special attention to the business aspect of the program. Jake worked endlessly and had been successful in ensuring that our star player in Rwanda made the U16 national team.
Jasmine Bishop, Thomas College | 2015 Health Corps Fellow, Rwanda
Along with Matt McGinley, Jasmine left for Rwanda in 2015. Growing up in Waterville, Maine Jasmine has had a passion for basketball for as long as she could remember. So to bring that passion to Shooting Touch was a big positive for everyone in the organization that she interacted with. Jasmine used her knowledge of basketball to help coach the kids of Rwanda to get better physically and mentally. Besides coaching, Jasmine had fun with the kids by having little pickup games whenever she could.
Matt McGinley, Sonoma State University | 2015 Health Corp Fellow, Rwanda
Matt McGinley, a graduate from Sonoma State University with a degree in Communications, has a lot of skills under his belt. Along with this, Matt has a strong passion for basketball that helps brings the best out of anyone he plays with.
Both Matt and Jasmine coached the younger and older kids on developing their skills on the court throughout their time in Rwanda. Furthermore, Matt tried his best to give the kids some good social skills by keeping track of how they respect one another. Whether it was showing up to practice on time or just listening to the coaches, Matt wanted everyone to respect each other. Matt was also responsible for the integration of health insurance for our players and he fundraised over $2,000 to make this happen.
Lisanne Comeau, Queens College | 2014 Health Corp Fellow, Rwanda
Past fellow, Lisanne Comeau has been a huge part of taking our programs in Rwanda to a whole other level through her planning, ingenuity, and hard work. Lisanne, a Canadian citizen, is a graduate of Queens University.
Together with Remy Ndiaye, Lisanne oversaw the construction of a basketball court, making it the 5th basketball court that Shooting Touch had constructed in Rwanda. Lisanne organized coaching clinics for Rwandan youth coaches who have shown considerable potential and leadership qualities.
In order to target other underserved population in the community, Lisanne sacrificed the little free time she had left to start up a women's only exercise and empowerment group in Rwinkwavu, the first Shooting Touch location in the Eastern Province. Soon, 20 women were attending every session, playing basketball and challenging gender norms. Today, Shooting Touch’s Women’s Program has over 700 women in it.
Lisanne truly embraced all aspects of Rwandan life. Because of how much she has grown to love her new home, she stayed in Rwanda for three year as the In-Country Program Director and one year as the Senior Program Director with Shooting Touch before heading off to graduate school at McMaster University for a Master’s in Global Health.
Remy Ndiaye, Dallas Baptist College | 2014 Sabbatical Grantee, Rwanda
Remy Ndiaye, originally from Senegal, graduated from Dallas Baptist College after attending SEEDS (Sports for Education and Economic Development in Senegal). In the true spirit of Sport for Development, Remy replicated the change he was once a recipient of.
The hard work of Remy and his 2014 partner in crime, Lisanne Comeau, has made the long term dream of Shooting Touch a reality. Upon arrival he and Lisanne were able to take the foundation of the two cohorts before them to start up a youth basketball league between all of the Shooting Touch locations in the Eastern Province. For the first time ever, teams from Rwinkwavu, Kayonza, Rukara, and Nyamirama were regularly playing against each other during the weekend. Many of these youth had barely ever traveled beyond their villages, so the games were not only a lot of fun, but the journey itself was an experience.
Along with the youth league, Remy and Lisanne organized 2 tournaments - a GBV awareness tournament and an International Women's Day tournament. Both tournaments were supported by FERWABA as well as individuals like Dr. Philbert Muhire, whose keynote speech on HIV/AIDS prevention reached hundreds of spectators. The tournament was even recorded and broadcasted nationwide on TV!
With on-court activities and a foundation for the youth league, now well-established, Remy and Lisanne were able to put more time and emphasis into health education by designing comprehensive learning sessions and bringing in more medical professionals as guest speakers.
Kevin Kettl, Bentley University | 2013 Sabbatical Grantee, Rwanda
Kevin teamed up with Basketball Health Corps Fellow, Priscilla Dodoo, to greatly expand the Shooting Touch Program in Rwanda. Building on the work of our 2012 Fellows, Casey Stockton and Isaura Guzman, Kettl and Dodoo were able to hit the ground running, spending their first month and a half in Gikondo coaching and teaching there before moving to Rwinkwavu and Kayonza respectively.
Throughout his year of service Kevin put his Bentley MBA to great use by building and refurbishing courts in the Eastern province. He coordinated the renovation and expansion of the Kayonza court next to the Kayonza Youth and Friendly Center. Crucially, he identified Rukara as a good place to expand Shooting Touch. After minor but highly necessary renovations, two courts in Rukara became operational and accessible for more than 3,000 kids! In March he coordinated the full construction of another court in Nyamirama dedicated to his late Bentley teammate Joey Glynn and strategically located it near 8 primary and secondary schools. Finally, he sourced and donated brand new backboards to the Streets Ahead Children's Center for their play area.
A major part of Kevin's work was collaborating with other partner organizations in Rwanda. With Ubumwe, he brought 35 kids from the Eastern Province to the capital Kigali for a friendly basketball tournament, which for many of the kids, was their first time EVER in Kigali. He organized a two-day clinic with the US Embassy and NBA Africa. The biggest tournament of the year was the Shooting Touch Tournament of Champions in Kayonza which took place at the same time as Co-Founders Justin and Lindsey Kittredge visited Rwanda. Over 100 kids came from 4 different Shooting Touch locations for the day of the tournament which was a massive success bringing in almost 1000 spectators.
Kettl left Rwanda having trained 7 coaches to carry on his work in Rwanda. Those coaches remain critical in making Shooting Touch's programs sustainable. By the end of his fellowship, 350 kids were playing on courts around the country through Shooting Touch. In summary, Kevin's work was incredible and laid the groundwork (often quite literally) for a national youth league that is continuing to be developed by his successors Lisanne and Remy. During his down time, he played in the Rwandan professional basketball league. He is hoping to return to Rwanda soon to visit all the friends and family he made.
Since returning to the USA in the fall of 2014, Kevin has completed his MBA in Marketing and Management. He started working for the NBA and is now their Associate Manager, Business Development for Retail Partnerships.
Priscilla Dodoo, University of Bridgeport | 2013 Sabbatical Grantee, Rwanda
Priscilla and her 2013 counterpart, Kevin Kettl, were a dynamic duo who together helped to increase Shooting Touch's programs in Rwanda. Along with Kevin she spent the first month and a half of her stay in a suburb of Kigali called Gikondo where there was an existing Shooting Touch court and program. While in Gikondo her and Kevin organized the second annual Shooting Touch December Classic which included 15 teams and more than 100 participants. During the tournaments Priscilla helped to coordinate workshops and guest speakers to teach about different health epidemics such as Malaria and HIV/AIDS which still infect thousands of youth and adults every year in Rwanda.
Priscilla also helped to oversee the construction of the Kayonza court and then ran both on and off court programming. Because of her hard work, Kayonza has grown into one of Shooting Touch's biggest sites in just 2 years. During the court renovations in Rukara, Priscilla, despite having no painting experience, took the lead and painted on the Shooting Touch logo to both of the courts. At Rukara her and Kevin were quickly able to establish four girls and boys teams with more than 20 kids on each.
Priscilla connected with the local girls orphanage, SACCA (Streets Ahead Children's Centre Association) and was able to begin running basketball practices twice a week with the girls. Those at SACCA are some of the most disadvantaged and marginalized in Rwanda, and Priscilla did an amazing job teaching and coaching them in order to improve their self-confidence and bring joy into their life. She built great relationships with many of the girls in a short time.
Immediately after returning from Rwanda, Priscilla moved to Jena, Germany where she played for USV Jena in the German women's professional league. She had incredible success leading the league in scoring and helping her team win the championship! She also enrolled and passed a German language course at a university in Jena.
Isaura Guzman, Stevens Institute of Technology | 2012 Sabbatical Grantee, Rwanda
Together with Casey Stockton in Kigali, Isa built (1) court in Gikondo and employed (80) people as on-court construction workers/paid coaches. She logged (400) of coaching training hours and distributed (300) balls between Kigali and Rwinkwavu. Issa completed (2,595) participant hours in Kigali coaching coaches, mentoring youth and building courts. She also hosted 1st Annual December Classic Tournament with local youths and on the ground organizations, which involved over 120 participants, and 200 community members of Nyamirambo section of Kigali. Lastly, she produced, filmed and created English/Kinyarwanda Coaching Instructional DVD, with over (40) drills and exercises covering passing, shooting, rebounding, defense, conditioning, team building, disease prevention, and gender equality.
Solo in Kigali starting in February, Isa helped mentor and coach fundamentals of the game at a street kids center. She held open forum discussions at the end of practices creating dialogue on facts/prevention/promotion of weekly theme topic, i.e. malaria, nutrition, careers, hard work, sexual violence. Isa secured Rwandan National Team as guest speaker (a female and male player) at practices and to talk with the kids about how they themselves worked hard (especially during the era of the genocide) and what it takes to pursue basketball and the benefits (i.e getting school fees paid for it you are a good enough player on a "pro" team which was motivation). She also ran a 5-on-5 tournament in July for kids, 16-20 years old in which each player will bring their own (8) player roster to play with other teams that register, expanding the reach of Shooting Touch's mission, and giving responsibility and involvement to players.
Furthermore, Isa partnered with PSI (a public health organization) on all camps to speak about HIV, educate on safe sex and prevention. She secured a condom donation for (3) large camps, logged (1,650) youth participant hours, trained (9) coaches, (3) female and created( 3) youth teams with (12) females included, and created and ran (5) basketball events engaging the community on all levels including Rafi'Kids Tournament, (2) tournaments in Kigali with newly establish youth leagues among others.
Casey Stockton, Denison University | 2012 Sabbatical Grantee, Rwanda
Together with Isaura Guzman in Kigali, Casey rehabbed one court in Gikondo and employed 80 people as on court construction workers/paid coaches. He logged 400 coaching training hours and distributed 300 basketballs in Kigali and Rwinkwavu. He completed 3,000 participant hours in Kigali coaching coaches, mentoring youth and building courts. He ran the 1st Annual December Classic with local youths and on the ground organizations, which involved over 120 youth participants, and 200 community members of the Nyamirambo section of Kigali.
In February, he moved out to rural subsistence farming village of Rwinkwavu, where he constructed one court, effectively bringing basketball to where it had never been before. There he taught communication, problem solving, HIV/disease prevention, conflict resolution, respect, and timeliness. He also produced, filmed and created a English/Kinyarwanda Coaching Instructional DVD, the first of its kind with over (40) drills and exercises covering passing, shooting, rebounding, defense, conditioning, team building, disease prevention, and gender equality.
Casey trained one apprentice coach to be great community leader for kids. Also he developed a "coach-in-training" program for high schoolers to volunteer and teach younger players. Over the course of the year he held (6) community tournaments and held 20 "Girls Only" basketball days, one of which hosted an astounding (51) girls. He organized (20) community "match nights" in Rwinkwavu where an NBA game was shown on the big screen. He established 4 teams in Rwinkwavu. In all he totaled over 600 coaching training hours and 4,600 participant training hours in Rwinkwavu.
Since leaving Rwinkwavu, Casey has returned to the states and worked with Shooting Touch in Boston, MA as the Director of Basketball Operations for 8 months. In the fall of 2014 he accepted an offer to be a Team Enrichment Academic Readiness Fellow at the Harlem RBI organization before becoming a high school teacher in Detroit, MI.
Leah Rutherford, Durham University | 2011 Sabbatical Grantee, South Africa & Zimbabwe
As Shooting Touch’s 2nd BHC Fellow, Leah began her journey in South Africa working for the Hoops 4 Hope organization assisting them with daily tasks and programming. She helped run daily practices and assist the staff on the ground, learning the ins and out of running a sustainable sport for development organization internationally. After getting acclimated, Leah traveled to Zimbabwe were she worked for 7 months for the Matilda Project - an incredible orphanage serving incredible children that were HIV positive and/or sick with AIDS. Based on Leah's progress in the initial months at Matilda and the amazing work she was doing teaching the youth leadership skills, basketball athletic programming and giving them a daily dose of Leah's innate joy, this is where Shooting Touch as an organization realized that the program overseas had to shift from a multi-location model to a one location model of impact.
Leah built a court from scratch, ran the areas first youth league, and stretched far beyond her wildest expectations in how the youth impacted her own life.
From here, Leah continued her life of service and works with the organization Young Hope out of Houston, Texas where she worked from a faith-based platform and inspired newly released inmates with joy and love and gets them acclimated to life outside of prison.
Tome Barros, Hampton University | 2010 Sabbatical Grantee, Brazil, Cape Verde & Senegal
As Shooting Touch’s first international Fellow, Tome was incredibly pioneering in shaping what would be become years later, an enormously impactful sport-for-development program.
Tome first began his Fellowship in the heart of Dakar, Senegal, and partnered with on the ground organizations setting up tournaments, youth clinics and camps for the children of Dakar. From there Tome headed to the favelas of Rio and worked on the ground with CUFA in preparing the youth for the onsite of the upcoming Olympic Games, teaching underserved boys and girls about healthy living habits, goal setting and empowerment. After 3 months in Rio, Tome headed to Cape Verde and established clinics, camps and tournaments and singe handily brought the game to to new heights of competition and exposure. Coupled with lessons on disease prevention and health promotion, Tome left Cape Verde with a continued legacy of youth development that has been fun to watch grow over the years.