LEONARDTOWN, MD – A groundbreaking partnership between State’s Attorney Jaymi Sterling and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation culminated in the first-ever Badges for Basketball clinic on August 23, 2023, at the Carver Recreation Center in Lexington Park. This landmark event marked the debut of such a clinic in St. Mary’s County.

The clinic was made possible by a generous grant from the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, allowing all participating youth to receive a t-shirt, a mini basketball, and a backpack filled with goodies. Badges for Basketball clinics and camps occur worldwide, but this event marks a significant milestone for the local community.

Yolanda Berry, the grandmother of two participants, encapsulated the joyful spirit of the event by sharing her grandsons’ experiences: “…they could not stop talking about how much fun they had and the friends they made along the way.”

Youngsters from across St. Mary’s County engaged in a morning filled with excitement, enhancing their basketball abilities while absorbing valuable life lessons about Healthy Choices – Healthy Lifestyles. The clinic featured guidance from various law enforcement agencies and community organizations, including staff from the State’s Attorney’s Office, Deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, Troopers from the Maryland State Police Leonardtown Barrack, and staff from the Department of Recreation and Parks.

The event’s success prompted State’s Attorney Jaymi Sterling to express optimism about the future, stating, “With the tremendous success of our inaugural event, we hope to plan additional Badges events in St. Mary’s County, and I look forward to additional youth in our community sharing in the experience.”

This collaboration with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation underscores a commitment to strengthening community ties, particularly between youth and law enforcement. The event exemplifies how sport can be a unifying force, fostering positive relationships and promoting healthy lifestyles among young people.

The first-ever Badges for Basketball clinic in St. Mary’s County has set a precedent for similar initiatives in the future. The excitement and positive feedback from participants indicate a promising path for continuing these efforts, enhancing the sense of community, and enriching the lives of youth in the area.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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