Kentucky’s Kastine Evans creates an after school program for kids

Why don’t we hear more about young people like this: Kentucky junior guard Kastine Evans has started an after school program for kids in Lexington.

In January, Evans started a non-profit after-school program called “Shooting at Success.” The organization`s focus is a 10-week program that runs on Mondays at two local churches in the Fayette County area. Evans rotates every other week between Broadway Christian Church and Crossroads Christian Church where she teaches groups of 50 kids from low-income households between the grades of second and fifth life lessons on building character.

“I came up with the idea of `Shooting at Success’ by realizing that basketball or sports in any way are a great tool to get through to young kids,” Evans said, who has partnered with the Lexington Leadership and Urban Impact to found the program. “It’s very fun, but at the same time you can teach them discipline, you can teach them hard work, you can teach them different things that they will learn in the classroom but also on the basketball court. It’s a great way to reach out to kids on a common level and just at the same time be able to be important figures in their lives because they are looking forward to something that’s coming up in the week and just being able to relay any message that you try to get through in a sport like basketball.”

In an effort to build character in the kids, Evans repeatedly references honesty, discipline, sacrifice and opportunity – the four pillars of the UK program instilled by head coach Matthew Mitchell. She even brings in guest speakers to talk to the students about the meaning of each word. What this does is give the children a viewpoint from student-athletes and other college students who have persevered through trying circumstances themselves.

This restores a bit of my faith in the human race, and in young people. Good for Kastine.