Thanks to Perfect 10 contributor Bill Lomica for sending this along.
The following is the transcript (per closed captioning) of the "Hoopin With Jamila" segment of the television program _More Than A Game_ (a Raycom Sports production).
Host Fred Hickmans introduction: Once a college basketball star at the University of Pennsylvania, John Wideman is now a best selling author. So it is not at all surprising that his daughter, Jamila, would inherit the ability to express herself on the court and on paper. But what is surprising is how Jamila has used the talent to deal with pain in her life and to help young girls deal with pain through poetry.
[Open segment. Shot of poem, "A Dream Deferred" by Langston Hughes.]
"Hoopin With Jamila" participant reading poem: What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?
Jamila Wideman to participants: Who knows who Langston Hughes is?
[Hands rise.] Hes an African-American writer, one of the most famous writers from a time in history that is called the Harlem Renaissance, which is a time when black people in America started getting a chance to be artists and to write. No dream couldnt come true.
Hickman voice-over: Jamila Wideman knows about dreamsand nightmares. As a professional basketball player for the WNBAs Los Angeles Sparks, her dream has come true. [Shot of Wideman shooting a three point basket for the Los Angeles Sparks.]
[Inner city scene.]
But with both an uncle and a brother serving life sentences in prison, she also knows the pain that can come from living life on the sidelines.
[Classroom.] So she made up her mind to reach out to young girls in the inner city through a program she designed called "Hoopin With Jamila".
Wideman: [To Interviewer.] What the program is really about is about expression and about having a voice and about empowering yourself. [Driving to basket in game. Taking three point shot.] And if for you being on a basketball court allows you to express who you are, to share yourself in a way that you might not be able to do anywhere else in your life - thats fantastic. [To interviewer.] If writing is a way that you can share your thoughts, your fears, your dreams, in a way that you cant anywhere else - thats fantastic.
[Shot of Wideman working with participants - a layup drill.]
Hickman voiceover: Each session of "Hoopin With Jamila" begins in the gym.
Wideman to participants: Now, if you need to balance the ball with your other hand for now, thats okay. Go ahead.
Wideman: What these girls learn during the basketball clinic is not just basketball. They learn about communication. They learn about teamwork. They learn about what it means to be a leader. They also learn what it means to make mistakes and to fail. And the fact that I wont let them go sit on the side when they cant do it and I make them stand there and do it and be successful at it. I think it gives them a sense of confidence. It gives them a sense of self worth. And that confidence will spread over into other parts of their life.
[Wideman working with participants in classroom.]
Hickman voiceover: Next, the kids move to the classroom. And for Jamila, this is the most exciting part.
Wideman: To sit in this room with these kids and to hear some of the things that they are saying, and I - theyre ten years old ... Im twenty-two years old - some of the things that come out of their mouths. I wish could have come out of mine because they articulate my experience in a way that Ive never looked at it. And I hope that I can help to articulate their experience in a way that they might not have thought of.
Wideman to participants in classroom: Does this baby have a choice of where it was born? (Participants: No.) Probably not.
Hickman voiceover: And the form that Jamila chose to help them express these experiences is poetry.
Wideman: [To Interviewer.] Poetry is an incredibly expressive form of writing. Its one thats very easy for kids to start to do on their own. And one that I dont think you get a lot of access to in the schools. So, because of the time constraints, it works perfectly. Wideman to participants in classroom: So what hes doing in this poem is trying to figure out "what happens when I have a dream and someone tells me I cant do it?".
Wideman: [To Interviewer.] The second component is getting the kids to create themselves. To do some... at least some writing in every session so that they see they have the ability and that its something fun to do.
[Wideman and participants interacting in classroom.] When I walk out of here, what I hope is that they find the writing can be a resource for them to go to when there isnt anybody to talk to - when they dont know how to work through a problem - that the writing itself can become a problem solver.
Darlene Tibbs, a participant: [To Interviewer.] I didnt write poetry until I started "Hoopin With Jamila". Now when Im sad or Im happy, I write poetry.
Stacey Chapman - Volunteer: [Classroom] The programs important from the perspective that it combines sports as well as lifes lessons. And what Jamila brings to it is a passion for literature and writing and poetry and self-expression. [To Interviewer.] So, through the program, the kids are able to learn not only about basketball, but also different ways they can express themselves off the court as well through words and poetry.
Rhonda Windham - Nike Representative: [Participants on playground.] They could be doing something else. They could be doing something negative. [Wideman and participants interacting in classroom.] But, instead, they have a very positive role model standing up before them telling them [To Interviewer.] : "Hey Im an athlete. Great, Im a pro. But Im still using my mind. Im still expanding my knowledge." And that shows them they need to do the same thing.
Participant in class: [Classroom] I feel no one should be criticized for simply being themselves or being different from others.
Wideman: [Wideman and participants interacting on court. To Interviewer.] To get a good education, to move on and have a successful life doing whatever it is that you want to do, and - I think that for young women - just the ability to dream and the to believe that you have a range of opportunities is the first step. And that is the dream we all share.
Hickman: Wideman does have plans to follow in her mothers footsteps and become a lawyer. Her area of interest: criminal and civil rights.