This week’s blog is about an emerging player’s transition from a PeacePlayers International – Middle East local team to a competitive, mixed Palestinian-Israeli All-Star team.
Eleven-year-old Sireen has been playing basketball with PeacePlayers International – Middle East for the past four years. She was inspired to join after seeing how happy her older sister was whenever she came back from a PPI practice or event. Today, both Sireen and her sister play on All-Star teams, which are mixed Palestinian-Israeli teams that compete together in the Israel Basketball Association’s elite youth league.
At first, Sireen practiced with the Beit Safafa “Minis” Team, comprised of other grade school boys and girls from her Palestinian community. The team practiced a few times a week and participated in Twinnings (joint activities with an Israeli team) monthly. The joint activities with the Israeli team prepared her for meeting and competing against different types of players.
The Minis are older now and have moved on to new PPI teams. At the age of 11, Sireen is in her first year of playing on an All-Star team. Fearlessness and desire to compete has helped her transition quite nicely. While it is still early on, she enjoys her new team and can feel herself improving.
Sireen enjoys having teammates that are both Palestinian and Israeli. Due to her participation in PeacePlayers, Israelis have had a continuing presence in her life and she feels very comfortable talking and interacting with them. To her, everyone is a human being and should be judged by their character and nothing more.
PeacePlayers wishes Sireen the best of luck and looks forward to seeing her continue to grow as a leader and player!