COMMON Hoops: Empowering Youths Through Design and Basketball


As part of Project M’s most recent summer program, in partnership with COMMON, a creative community for rapidly prototyping social ventures, I along with De, Nick, Philipp, Dawn and Isaac came together to start a sustainable social enterprise. The result is COMMON Hoops, a program that empowers youths through design and basketball.

Why basketball? After exploring Greensboro, Alabama, where Project M took place this year, we realized that basketball to Hale County is like football to Texas—it’s everywhere. And it would be an effective way to engage this community.

As described on the COMMON Hoops website, the goal of this program is to empower minority youths (ages 12–17) by creating jobs, teaching new and transferable skills, and allowing them to enjoy the positive, recreational activity that they love. Participants build and design basketball backboards from salvaged and reclaimed materials, returning to their communities able to give back the valuable knowledge and experience they’ve gained.

My work on this project spawned from a deep belief that design can have a positive social impact on our communities. Through collaboration and the exploration of new ideas, society can harness design as a powerful tool to create change. I am both honored and excited to be able to take part in projects like COMMON Hoops that help make the world a better place.