For present and past directors, students and parents, Teams of Tomorrow means more than just basketball. TOT comprises physical skills, academic concepts and friendships, interwoven to make up a program that helps all young children grow and become.
While TOT encompasses a lot of positive characteristics, Nashville, Tennessee, TOT Director Ginny Murray said she knows a characteristic the program doesn’t possess: being “run of the mill.”
Ginny is no stranger to uncommon experiences. She grew up in the Middle East until the age of 13, when she moved to Germany to attend high school at a boarding academy. She played basketball for four years before graduating and moving to Mississippi for college. Ginny described the experience as “awesome.”
“Growing up overseas, I had to adjust as I moved around,” Ginny said. “It gave me a love for different cultures and peoples.”
Ginny is now able to use her experiences to relate to her students in the program. TOT is able to incorporate students with many different gifts and backgrounds, she said.
Ginny has had the chance to work with an array of TOT superstars, including a legally blind student, a student with Down syndrome and an autistic student who was diagnosed right before he started the program.
Ginny said she has also taught a child who had just moved from Japan and gained some English-speaking skills to go with his basketball moves. She has also taught international students who were Jewish, Indian and Russian; while the students may have not understood the words to the songs in class, they were still able to flourish and perform well, she said.
“[TOT] allows them to succeed in a smaller setting where they feel like they’re part of something,” Ginny said.
Ginny said TOT franchisees get the chance to succeed as well, as the program provides everything new business owners need to jumpstart TOT in their regions.
Ginny said TOT has given her flexibility and a financial advantage.
TOT has also given her the chance to be involved in her children’s school when classes are held each week and the opportunity for her children to learn about running a business when they assist with TOT events, Ginny said.
Being a TOT director also has its challenges too, Ginny said, likening the choice to be a franchisee to “a step of faith.” Marketing and keeping constant communication with parents and directors are just a couple of challenges to overcome, she said.
Yet Ginny said she urges those who are considering becoming franchisees to “go for it.”
“I’m not super extroverted,” she said. “I’m not a salesperson by any means, but I love basketball, and I love kids.”