The BASE, a nonprofit program founded by Robert Lewis Jr. in 2013, supports inner-city youths ages 7-18 and their families through sports, education, and food security. The program offers training for baseball, softball, and basketball, while also providing educational and career opportunities.
The program’s aim is to help participants excel both on and off the field. With the addition of esports to the curriculum, BASE participants are developing skills and knowledge that could help them secure college scholarships and carve out career paths.
“Esports is taking off all over the globe, but for me, and why I got interested in it, is because of the skills our kids can learn,” Lewis said. “They’re learning coding, marketing, branding, website design, and all the other elements that come along with gaming.
“It’s important for our young kids to realize all the career opportunities that are connected.”
Murphy Vandervelde, the CEO and co-founder of Helix, is a board member for BASE HOOPZ, which helped him form a connection with Lewis and complete the merger.
Vandervelde believes esports and professional sports are more intertwined than ever, as evidenced by the emergence of NBA 2K, FIFA World Cup, and