The second annual Community Classic returns with a new format!
Last year’s version was a one-game showcase with four girls games and four boys games. In 2022, there is a tournament format, four to be exact, two from each gender.
The girls and boys will crown two champions each, one from the Change Bracket and one from the Unity Bracket. Both brackets will have four teams.
There is no change for the dinner, however, as the banquet will take place for all coaches and teams a day before the basketball begins. Guest speakers include former Richmond star Nick Sherod, VHSL legendary coach George Lancaster and Huguenot’s Shea Collins, a coach, teacher and administrator in the 804 for over 20 years.
804 Coaches for Change will host a Middle School boys basketball league for the 2022-23 season. Pairing this action opportunity with our high school Community Classic only made sense. The league will run from December 7 until February, ending in a champion being crowned after a two-week playoff period.
The teams that will participate this year are: Anna Julia Cooper, Collegiate, St. Bridget’s, St. Christopher’s, St. Edward-Epiphany, Steward and Veritas.
In the 2023-24 season we would like to add a Tournament of Champions so public schools are able to participate. We would also like to have a girls league.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in entering your school next season.
804 Coaches for Change teamed up with the Glen Allen Basketball Youth League to host a free clinic to give tips to Glen Allen’s coaches for the season. The event was a hit as several young coaches received pointers, and youth were able to get some practice in as well as the drills and teaching happened.
Big thanks to our volunteer presenters: Rally Axselle, Atlee; Nick Burd, Matoaca; Del Harris, Collegiate; Rob Rice, Hanover; Darryl Watts, Armstrong; Kerry Williams, Carmel
804 Coaches for Change received the Courage Story Award at the inaugural RVA Sports Awards on Saturday, February 5.
Founder Darryl Watts, vice presidents Del Harris and Stephen Lewis, and board member Mollie Reinhart accepted the award on behalf of the organization.
“On behalf of 804 Coaches for Change, we want to thank you for this award. We are honored,” Watts said at the live, televised event. “804 Coaches for Change has allowed us to build a team comprised of coaches from throughout the area, and to bring young people together from different backgrounds … to try to understand each other so we can make the world a better place.”
Said Harris: “Change, no matter how small or how big it is, we want to inspire change. We’re grateful, and thankful and humbled by this, and we will continue to do the work.”
From its beginning in June of 2020, 804 Coaches For Change has been about action, beginning with its peaceful march on Monument Avenue. The group’s latest foray into helping bridge the gap for youth in the Richmond area is the 804 Coaches For Change Community Classic.
The Classic is a three-day event that will be used as a backdrop to promote unity and honor those making a difference in our schools and community. The Classic begins with a dinner for all participating teams on Dec. 21. The student-athletes will hear from a variety of former area basketball standouts – about their lives, how basketball has helped them and what we all need to do to continue to impact change. On Dec. 22, four girls varsity basketball games will be played, and the following day, four boys varsity basketball games will be contested.
Before and between each contest, Richmond youth will be put on display, teachers, bus drivers, frontline workers and more will be honored, and those that are less fortunate will be assisted. Del Harris and Stephen Lewis, 804 Coaches For Change vice presidents, are key team members behind the scenes.
“It’s important that we continue the original vision of our founder Coach Darryl Watts of Armstrong High School,” Harris said. “We will continue to press forward using basketball as a platform to address issues regarding racial inequality and support uplifting the voices of our young people. All change takes time, but little steps of positive progress, no matter how small, will unite our community and continue to build compassion and hope together.”
“We look forward to continuing to inspire all and create positive change throughout the community,” Lewis said.
Supporters of the inaugural Community Classic include CarMax, BetterMed, U-Turn, Richmond Police Athletic League, I-9 Sports, Team Richmond, Leadership & Achievement Academy, KPMG, CapTech, BSN Sports, Tavenner & Beran, Foundation for Family and Community Healing, Hickory & Oak and Befriend.
The nonprofit Befriend was founded by Mollie Reinhart in 2017. The group has been in lockstep with 804 Coaches for Change since the nonprofit’s inception in 2020. They teamed up with the Leadership & Achievement Academy for Community Nights at the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club in Church Hill from the winter of 2020 until the summer of 2021, providing youth in that community with basketball tutelage, life skills, mentorship, food, t-shirts and lifelong friendships.
Befriend connects people through many paths to meet one another and forge new relationships by uniting through compassion. Its theme, “we are all more alike than different,” celebrates our common humanity and unifies our community. “Befriend is honored to partner with 804 Coaches for Change to bring the community together through the path of basketball and create a positive, unifying event this inaugural year and for many years to come, “ Reinhart said.
804 Coaches for Change also created and participated in other community builders, including the CARE (Conversations About Race and Equality) League, Town Hall Zooms, backpack giveaways and various speaking engagements around the Richmond area.
WTVR-6 did a feature on 804 Coaches for Change and their partnership with the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club recently.
To celebrate the end of the school year the groups teamed up with Michael Edwards of the Leadership and Achievement Academy to continue CommUNITY nights with a DJ and pizza party.
The goal of CommUNITY Night is to create a positive experience through basketball, while getting kids together in space where they can decompress. Mentors and volunteers from all over the city have come out to assist the kids, as the event has been a staple at the Boys and Girls Club throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 75 people of different ages, races and backgrounds joined 804 Coaches for Change Monday, Jan. 18 to celebrate, discuss and expound upon the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The attendees spent an hour talking about famous MLK quotes and what they meant to them, what strides have been made since his untimely death, what the next MLK looks like and what we can do together to continue to carry on his dream of unity.
We thank all of the organizations and schools that were represented, and look forward to continuing these helpful conversations for our community. See you in February!