Joseph Harless Discusses Ways Basketball Helps At-Risk Students

John Smith

August 4, 2020

Joseph Harless is a young college student, basketball player, jewelry maker, and mentor who has become a very focused and successful man at a surprisingly young age. And he recently discussed how basketball helped him focus on his dreams and how he has helped at-risk students on his team get over life challenges to become more successful and happy people. 

Joseph Harless Believes Basketball Builds Long-Lasting Relationships

During his career as a basketball player and coach, Joseph Harless has helped many students overcome life struggles that held them back. For example, he has watched basketball transform the lives of students who have parents with drug addiction by giving them a purpose and a goal that transcended the limitations of their lives. This benefit is enormous, Joseph Harless states. 

Just as importantly, he has found that many students in this situation lack positive social interaction with their peers. Whether they are picked on by others or exhibit bullying behaviors, Joseph Harless believes that these students are suffering and need help. And basketball provides that guidance by integrating them into a positive atmosphere of sports competition. 

And sports also help to teach many positive lessons, such as teamwork, competitiveness, and the willingness to fight for what a person believes in as an individual. And Joseph Harless highlights basketball as an excellent option for struggling students because it relies on careful cooperation and an understanding of others that may help a struggling and at-risk student.

Ways to Integrate a Student Into Basketball

Parents or teachers of an at-risk student have many different ways to get that child into basketball, Joseph Harless says. For example, shooting hoops together at a public basketball court is an inexpensive way to see if the child enjoys the sport. Joseph Harless states that basketball is such a popular sport because it is relatively inexpensive to play – as long as there’s a basketball and a hoop, players can shoot. 

As a result, an at-risk student doesn’t need to invest much money into this process, making it easier for them to start. However, Joseph Harless believes that it is more important to get the student involved with a team, even if it’s just an intramural group. The potential emotional connections that they can make in this situation are massive and must be encouraged as much as possible in the student, he states. 

Though the student may try to resist this process at first, many are likely to find encouragement from their peers a reason enough to start. And as they play, Joseph Harless believes they will find themselves having fun and engaging with others positively. The power of sports is so strong that this student may even find themselves engaging in it competitively and using it as a springboard to further success, Joseph Harless states.