Dear Friends of Montgomery,
Have you ever had the opportunity to watch a child’s eyes light up when they have achieved a new skill? Watched how their confidence seems to explode right before your eyes? Felt the contagious eagerness they express to do it again, do it more, do it better? This is the spark that fueled the birth of Fundamentals of Basketball, a 501(c)3 Non-Profit program begun in 2011, with the goal of helping children 2-12 years of age develop the integral skills needed to play the game of basketball successfully, and so much more.
My name is La Taunya Pollard-Romanazzi, (aka: Coach). I grew up in East Chicago, Indiana where my childhood was spent in the alley in back of my family home shooting basket after basket into a trash can hung on a telephone pole. There were no fancy gyms, no neighborhood parks, no after school programs. From age five I can remember long afternoons in that alley where my skill and confidence developed. My competition was exclusively male and this heavily contributed to my success as one of the best female basketball players in the United States. Over the next two decades, I would see the game of basketball lead me to places and titles I had never dreamed of in that back alley. In the course of my four years at Chicago Roosevelt High School, I led our team to two state championship titles and was named Indiana’s Miss Basketball in 1979. Attending California State University of Long Beach on a full four- year scholarship, I established records that remain to this day, resulting in being awarded the Wade trophy for best college female basketball player in the United States in 1983. At 19 years of age, I was honored to be the youngest member on the 1980 United States Olympic Team, an amazing piece of history to be part of.
Above all these honors and opportunities, however, I count my greatest trophy in life to be my salvation through Jesus Christ, my risen Lord and Savior, and the grace He has freely and generously bestowed upon me. He has maintained my health and vitality as I continue to live a very physically demanding life. He has blessed me with three beautiful children and five precious grandchildren. He has given me a full life in Montgomery these past 15 years, building my reputation and establishing a flourishing ministry through Fundamentals of Basketball which allows me to train children physically, emotionally, and psychologically while reinforcing Christian character and values such as respect, kindness, teamwork and forgiveness.
As my ministry has grown, so has a vision that I now bring to you, for a year-round, indoor sports facility to meet the increasing population and interest in indoor sports in the Montgomery area. A quick survey will reveal the lack of adequate indoor facilities within a twenty-minute driving radius for not only basketball, but other indoor sports like volleyball and indoor soccer, and those available at churches and schools are already taxed to capacity. It breaks my heart to see children turned away from programs due to unavailable court space, resulting in families going to other communities. Montgomery is our amazing home and this safe space, with sound Christ-centered programs and supervision, is something we can and should offer our youth.
My vision, passion, reputation, and skills are the gifts I bring to this project; however, it will require “MORE” which I am hoping to generate through this writing.
- Development – are you someone who can share in my vision and guide me in creating a business plan to present to others to garner enthusiasm and momentum?
- Execution – are you someone who can identify resources and fundraising opportunities to make this plan a reality?
- Support – are you someone who recognizes this need or knows a child who would benefit from its creation and are willing to pray, cheerlead, and keep me accountable to see this through?
I have no idea who this writing will touch or what the next steps will be for this vision, but I do know the God I have served and His ability to go above and beyond the dreams of a little girl shooting baskets into a trash can in East Chicago, Indiana. If you see yourself plugging into this project in even a small way, I am certain He will multiply that gift to bring it to fruition.
Thank you for your prayerful consideration,
THE GYM 15