For more than 130 years, the YMCA has worked to facilitate growth for individuals as well as communities by providing social-enrichment programs that promote honesty, respect, and responsibility. YMCA of Greater San Antonio, which features locations throughout the metropolitan area, helps people improve their lives with healthy living programs that offer inclusive training classes as well as lifelong learning classes. Youth development initiatives and childcare services allow children as well as teens to develop positive behaviors while exploring their interests in a safe, supportive environment. The centers also encourage social responsibility by providing opportunities to support local communities through volunteerism and charitable giving.
Through its camps, clinics, and year-round programs, Ball Hard gives a boost to youth, junior high, and high school hoopsters on their quest to becoming college basketball players. Since its founding, Ball Hard and its team of professional trainers have produced more than 60 Division I scholarship recipients—none of whom were red-shirted, meaning they entered college ready to contribute on the court and did not spend an extra year growing in a giant flower pot. During clinics, many coaches draw from experience coaching NBA, WNBA, and D1 athletes, but Ball Hard doesn’t limit its wisdom to just the hardwood. Away from drills, practices, and games, the company emphasizes academic success and personal advancement, and even offers programs and GPA monitoring to ensure its players become both well-rounded athletes and well-rounded members of society.
Antonio Daniels studied elementary education at Bowling Green State University. But rather than making a career of reading Newbery Award–winning books or conducting science experiments over bunsen burners, he entered the 1997 NBA Draft and was chosen as the fourth overall pick by the Vancouver Grizzlies. However, once he recognized the hollowness of a baller's lifestyle––whose only rewards were a 1999 NBA championship with the San Antonio Spurs and the perk of wearing shorts to work––Antonio atoned by establishing his annual youth summer basketball camp.
For all five days of the camp, Antonio prowls the sidelines, giving kids pointers and boosting their confidence in the game he has now played professionally for 13 years. Coaches from the middle-school through college ranks join him in running the aspiring dunk machines through drills, skill training, and competitive games. At the end of the camp, children will not only have sharpened their hooping tool set, but they will also leave with two of the best souvenirs Antonio can offer other than plaster casts of his hands and feet: a T-shirt and an autographed photo.
Jermaine "JC" Collier has faced a lot of opponents over the years. The founder, head trainer, and overall fitness guru at JC Ultimate Training has competed in basketball, football, and boxing. Today though, he hopes to take down a more serious foe—obesity in children and adults. Mr. Collier works towards this goal through year-round classes in sports conditioning and cardio boxing. He also trains clients during one-on-one sessions, and he even travels to offices, churches, and other above-water locations to lead onsite fitness sessions.
Collier believes fitness isn't all burning calories and building muscle; it has the potential to bring people together. To that end, JC Ultimate Training hosts a quarterly "Unity in the Community" event, which consists of sports tournaments and leagues.
Taking time out of the NBA season to inspire young athletes, the San Antonio Spurs organization’s annual holiday basketball clinic uses basketball as a vehicle to teach the values of sportsmanship and leading a healthy lifestyle. During single-day sessions, former and current Spurs players and coaches swing by to alley-oop advice into the ears of boys and girls aged 7–18, leading practice drills and competitions in which coaches emphasize core principles and training techniques, such as how young players should react when college recruiters start replacing the prizes in cereal boxes with letters of intent. Afterward, kids head home with signed souvenirs and a better overall understanding of the game, both on the court and off.
At River Place Country Club, a championship golf course designed by Jay Morrish and Tom Kite, winner of the 1992 U.S. Open, invites golfers to launch balls over sand bunkers and twisting creeks that wend their way through the landscape’s hilly contours. The course’s superintendent draws on experience at Baton Rouge Country Club and Colonial Country Club, as well as a degree in Plant and Soil Systems, as he ensures that the greens and rolling Bermuda grass fairways are more carefully manicured than a prize-winning pet wooly mammoth. The course’s PGA professional instructors are on hand to improve individual games, and a driving range lets players practice at 15 hitting stations.
Adjacent to the course, eight lighted tennis courts abut a 40,000-square-foot clubhouse with an outdoor pool, fully equipped fitness center, and locker rooms whose dry saunas and whirlpools melt tension quicker than butter melts on the calves of a sprinter. The Grille invites clubgoers to sup on steak or seafood, and a pair of outdoor decks let guests drink in scenic views.
Course at a Glance: