All Jackie White wants is for young girls to have fun.
“Never should finance dictate whether a child is provided the opportunity for growth and development,” says White. “And fun. Just in general, fun.”
Basketball has always been fun for Jackie White, now ‘Coach White,’ as she is known at Edison High School. In the late 1970’s, White was a star player at Memorial and later at Cal Poly Pomona. That led to her becoming just the second woman ever to play for the Harlem Globetrotters.
“Now that I’m back in Fresno, my goal and my purpose is to serve our youth,” she says. “Particularly our young girls. I want the girls to see me as representing the entire Fresno, central valley area. And the theme for today is Girl Power!”
A lot of it.
With the help of Angel Tree Sports Clinic, Jackie White put on a one-day basketball camp at Edison High School. More than 60 girls in grades 5-8 attended.
“The coolest part of today would probably have to be seeing how many girls actually showed up,” said 13-year-old Jayce.
Added 13-year old Kyesha, “My mom, she’s a big fan of Jackie. And so she really wanted me to go because she wanted to meet her as well.”
The key word at this camp is free. Free food. Free t-shirts. A free goodie bag. And, of course, free on-court instruction.
“We receive a lot of money from our donors. And our donors want us to do programs like this,” said Joe Avila, a representative from Angel Tree who oversaw the camp. “And so what I report back to them is, ‘this is what you did.'”
Says White, “For it to be the first time that this has ever happened on the west side where there’s a girls basketball camp, I am enormously elated and I feel proud and I am happy.”