It is not every day you see a 6-foot-8 behemoth afraid of a little water. Especially one as fearless as Brandon Bass is on the basketball court.
The former Magic forward and current Celtics forward is one of the many Black children who did not learn how to swim. He is also one of the many who are proving it is never too late to learn, even at 28 years old.
As part of a community outreach event at the Boston Boys and Girls Club, Bass led a group of students into the pool for a swim lesson. Hard to believe Bass spent two seasons in Orlando without picking up the skill. But as he said in the video below, if his five-year-old son can do it, why can't he?
Bass said he is going to continue taking lessons at the Boys and Girls Club of Boston as long as his schedule permits and he will continue with private lessons. His son is the first member of his family to learn to swim. Bass knows as much as anyone how important a skill this can be — a neighbor of his drowned when he was a kid in Baton Rouge, La.
The Boys and Girls Club of Boston started this campaign to help address a glaring need in the Black and Hispanic communities. According to the USA Swimming Foundation, 70 percent of Black children and 60 percent of HIspanic children do not know how to swim, compared to 40 percent of White children. Drowning is the second leading cause of death among children younger than 14 years old.
It is great to see Bass doing some great work in the community up in Boston to address the issue. Hopefully he brings some of that attention back to Orlando, where he makes an offseason home. More importantly for him, hopefully it means he will be able to relax with his children, who are learning or have learned how to swim, and enjoy family time wherever it might be.