SOAR Dunk to spread message through basketball Saturday

Tom Joyce Staff Reporter

September 17, 2013

September is more associated with football than basketball — but the SOAR team will seek to prove here Saturday that high-flying dunks and fancy maneuvers are never out of season.

SOAR Dunk is described as an unconventional basketball ministry from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., which travels the country to entertain and inspire audiences.

“It’s a great opportunity,” city Parks and Recreation Director Catrina Alexander said of a program to be held at 6 p.m. at Mount Airy High School.

She said the admission price will be only $1 and a donation for the Hungry Bears backpack program to benefit students of city schools. Mount Airy Middle School sends home several backpacks each week for underprivileged students. Any canned food items, especially vegetables and SpaghettiOs, along with nabs, pop tarts and similar foods, are among the most needed.

Saturday’s appearance by the SOAR Dunk team, believed to be its first locally, will generate food donations, but its acrobatic prowess and message also should whet the appetite of local residents, Alexander said.

SOAR stands for Soul’d Out and Ready. Members of the basketball ministry team use daring maneuvers off trampolines to wow audiences.

Alexander said Saturday’s event will be family oriented while appealing especially to youths and basketball fans, and should serve as a welcome prelude to the arrival of hoops season in a couple of months.

The entertainment aspects of the dunk team’s program serve as a lead-in to the inspirational words it also shares with audiences. A brief talk typically comes after its sports presentations.

SOAR Dunk is part of Liberty University’s Department of Ministry Team, described as passionate about sharing a faith-based message. While SOAR Dunk is athletic-oriented, members of other teams seek to serve others through their talents in music, drama and creative expression ministries.

Its appearance here is an outreach effort of the Reeves Community Center Foundation, a group known for providing scholarships for recreation programs to local children in need. Its spearheading of the SOAR Dunk squad’s visit represents an effort to provide youths with a wholesome example of the value of team sports and education which its members represent.

“I do think young people learn a lot from participating in organized athletics,” the city parks and recreation director added regarding what the Liberty University group showcases.

“Plus, they’re college kids,” Alexander said of their academic involvement.

“We definitely want as many people to turn out (Saturday) as possible.”

Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or