A NOTE FROM OUR FOUNDER
The below letter was written by a young man in Italy, David Cecchin, who has become a special part of my life. He has received a long awaited opportunity that entails him traveling to California to train and work out for college coaches. To help him with this opportunity and make his dreams a reality, The Village Kids nonprofit is asking for donations that will go towards his expenses to and from California.
We appreciate and thank you in advance for your consideration and donation in helping to support David’s dream of becoming a college student-athlete.
Hello, my name is David Cecchin. I was born in Nigeria before being relocated to Italy at 3 years old to be with my family. Growing up, I was always somewhat of an outcast because of the way I looked and my Nigerian culture. Having to adapt in different environments is something that I had to learn at a young age as I was trying to find a place of peace, comfort and acceptance outside of my mom and sister's home.
While trying to adapt to a new culture, I got into sports at the age of 6 like most kids. I started playing soccer on the team of the small town where we lived, called Loria, in Northern Italy. After 5 years, the coach told me I could no longer play on the team. That was when I discovered basketball. Basketball gave me a feeling I had never felt before. It gave me the peace and comfort I needed outside of my mother and sister. It was just pure love at first bounce. I got onto a local team, Olimpia Basket, and that’s when my vision began to become clear. While trying to figure out what I was getting myself into, I began working hard and because I’m a fast learner, my curiosity about the sport developed into a daily passion. I then started competing in provincial games and gold selections for 4 years.
At age 17, I knew I had to get out of my comfort zone and go try and compete on a higher level. So I began traveling around the Veneto area trying out for bigger clubs. One of the clubs was Umana Reyer where Julyan played. Although I didn’t make that club, I made another large sport club, Basket Mestre. My new club happened to be in the same city as Julyan. Once I arrived at Mestre, I realized I must commit myself even more to this sport if I wanted to make significant steps forward to make my dreams come true. My first step was when I got onto the team that competed in the second division and under 19 division.
As Julyan and my relationship grew stronger, I shared with him my dreams of playing college basketball. As the year went on, the club I was playing for did not provide me with opportunities to showcase my true abilities, which limited my opportunity to provide films to colleges. At the end of the season, I went into the summer not knowing what I was going to do basketball-wise, so I began to work so I could still help provide for myself.
When Julyan arrived at his new team's camp in Scafati, I came later to catch up, workout, and figure out a plan. That’s when I learned about the college prep program in Borgomanero, in northwest Italy. I went to try it, and when I got there I found kids like me from around the world and that gave me peace where I felt like my dreams were finally going to become reality. After almost 2 months, my previous basketball employer called and withheld me from participating. I was not able to attend the international prep school because they owned my basketball rights, which I was completely unaware of. This was a major blow to my confidence and dreams of becoming a student athlete playing college basketball.
With no options left, for the last four months I've been staying in Scafati with Julyan, working out every day, practicing every day, and preparing myself for whatever opportunity may come. Since being here, I’ve been granted an opportunity to practice against the first-place team every day. I get to compete against top-level European pros and learn the little things about the game while I wait for my turn. I now have been given an opportunity to go to California, USA to train and workout for coaches. It’s another chance for me to make my dreams come true. With all the bumps and roadblocks put in front of me, my faith won’t allow me to give up. I'm ready for the opportunity I prepared for.
My ambition is to become a student athlete. I want to become a professional basketball player while focusing at the same time on my education which is not only most important to me, but to my mama too.
SUPPORT DAVID ON HIS JOURNEY
CHECKS PAYABLE TO THE VILLAGE KIDS - PLEASE INFORM US TO RECEIVE MAILING ADDRESS.