Brandon Bass, Boston Celtics star forward, understands excellence on the basketball court takes hard work and diligence. He’s now plying that wisdom and his efforts into swimming lessons.
Bass, at 28 years of age, cannot swim. He never learned how. Presently he’s enrolled in swimming lessons with nearly a dozen young kids at the Boys & Girls Club in Boston.
Bass’ story is one among thousands, a challenge the swimming community has been tackling for decades.
Drowning is the 2nd leading cause of childhood unintentional death for children under the age of 14, and 70% of African American children cannot swim (60% of Latino children cannot swim, and 40% of Caucasian children cannot swim).
In 2009, the charitable arm of USA Swimming, The USA Swimming Foundation, launched the Make a Splash Tour presented by Phillips 66 to educate parents, kids and communities about the importance of learning to swim.
Mel Stewart is a USA Swimming Foundation ambasssador.