Philadelphia Youth Basketball (PYB) is a sports-based youth development and community empowerment organization that creates opportunities for young people to reach their full potential as students, athletes, and positive leaders. PYB utilizes a holistic approach to youth development by leveraging the iconic sport of basketball to provide positive coaching and mentorship, academic enrichment, health and wellness, and leadership development opportunities. Through its core programs based in North and West Philadelphia, PYB primarily serves middle and high school aged youth from some of the city’s most underserved and under-resourced families and communities.
Reinvestment Fund provided a $3 million New Markets Tax Credit allocation for the project. PNC and PIDC also provided NMTC allocations for the $26.4 million project to help PYB develop a new home that will serve thousands on an annual basis. Named the Alan Horwitz “Sixth Man” Center, PYB’s new space will be in Philadelphia’s Nicetown neighborhood. PYB’s center will not only include many features such as basketball courts, flexible classroom and event space, and a healthy food commissary, but will also create a hub for community-serving tenants such as certified financial planners, physical therapists, and mental health therapists – many of which are businesses and vendors owned by people of color and/or women.
Since its inception in June 2015, PYB has helped thousands of young people find their voice, value, and visibility during their critical formative years. Through a combination of their homegrown Sport & Society modules, which often focus on current events through the inclusion of relevant celebrities and professional athletes, and basketball gameplay, health and nutrition supports, and social and emotional learning, PYB strives to bring about meaningful change in the communities they serve.
PYB’s core programs, which serve a population that is approximately 90% Black and African American and 10% Latino/a boys and girls from 5th to 12th grades, have expanded over the course of almost seven years. These programs include the Middle School Partnership, which is a coed, 20-week program that runs from October to April for youth in grades 5th-8th; HoopHers, which is an all-female led and female participant program that runs in the fall and winter; the Lace Up & Learn Up Summer Camp Series, which provide half- and full-day camp style programming for middle school youth to help combat summer academic backslide; and I Am Because We Are, which is a year-round, 14-week program aimed at high-school aged boys who have been criminally involved. Through these programs, PYB approximately serves 700 students annually. With limited access to safe places to play and few opportunities for positive mentorship and leadership building opportunities, PYB’s holistic model, which is delivered by culturally credible Coach-Mentors and volunteers, enables the organization to create a safe haven for young boys and girls across Philadelphia.