A team of boys from Burma, with help from teachers Allison Beene and Ashley Nick,   dominated their league during their first-ever basketball season: Photo by Danny Fulgencio

A team of boys from Burma, with help from teachers Allison Beene and Ashley Nick,
dominated their league during their first-ever basketball season: Photo by Danny Fulgencio

If you are a sucker for a feel-good underdog sports story (and if there weren’t a glut of us, there wouldn’t be so many movies fitting said description), then check out the April Solutions story, Hoop Dreams, about the unlikely Burmese basketball players from Wallace Elementary.

They came from a country where they lived in grass huts, had limited access to electricity or education, and only occasionally went to places where they could see a movie or TV show. When they did, they often watched Jackie Chan movies that made them dream of American life (with its pools and giant people, they told me during our interview), and they repeatedly watched a movie called Kung Fu Slam Dunk Fireball, which was the closest they got to a basketball.

The children came to this country as refugees and at Wallace Elementary they first saw a basketball. With the help of two teachers, they learned how to play, and remarkably well.

Divided into three teams, they took part in the Hoops in the Highlands basketball tourney last weekend. As we all know, Hoops is very competitive, but the youngsters, who are new to the game, held their own, says the coach. “It was a beautiful day and the boys had fun, so I’d call that a win,” she noted.

Read the full story about the team and two profound teachers here.

More photos from Hoops to come (if you have any, send them to me at chughes@advocatemag.com).