Release Courtesy of Athletes in Action
XENIA, Ohio - A women's team of collegiate and post-collegiate athletes from across North America is coming together for a unique tour to Uganda that combines basketball with humanitarian aid work. Former Bulldog Kelsey Keizer, who played at Drake from 2005-09, is a member of the team headed for Kampala. Keizer is an assistant basketball coach at Southwest Baptist University.
From July 30 through August 17, the team will partner with the local Athletes in Action ministry to improve women's basketball in Uganda. The Athletes in Action North American team will play a series of games against local club teams in Kampala in an effort to build relationships with players and fans in the area. The visiting athletes also hope to encourage their opponents by sharing their own faith stories.
"I am anxious to experience daily life in Uganda," she says. "I look forward to getting to see the country, meet the people and experience a lifestyle that I assume to be much different than here in America."
Beyond the thrill of competition, the North American team plans to conduct basketball clinics with the goal of advancing women's basketball in Uganda. The team will also visit an orphanage and women's center, both in Kampala, to serve and encourage individuals in those places.
Following their games in Kampala, the team will travel to Gulu to partner with Life Ministry Uganda to assist in teaching curriculum promoting integrity and character, ultimately aimed at preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa.
"I desire to grow in my compassion for those in greater need than myself and to develop a broader picture of who God is within our whole world," says Keizer. "The verse James 1:27 has continually been rolling over in my head since I heard about this trip: 'Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.'"
The AIA team will participate in Bible studies and personal development training during the overseas tour. Athletes in Action strives to help athletes grow in their faith as they compete and reach out to others.