West Philly native, former Harlem Globetrotter launches safe gym hub for youth

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- West Philadelphia native Bria Young has a passion for working with children and helping them thrive through the game of basketball.

"With all the things going on this summer, I've been running camps doing individual training," said Young. "But this summer when everything shut down, they closed all the gyms, closed all the schools, I know I had nowhere to work out of."

Young says because of the challenges faced amid the pandemic she had to find a solution.

Exploring over 30 different countries Young, who has been a member of the Harlem Globetrotters for two seasons, shares her journey with the youth, using basketball as a tool to overcome the many-faced adversities.

"I think that basketball and sports, in general, can be used as an outlet," said Young. "Especially growing up in Philly, right now violence is at an all-time high, I think this is the worst it's been in a decade."

Young says that was one of the main reasons she wanted to start The Bria Young Basketball Spot.

The BYB Spot, set to open on Tuesday, September 1, will serve as a private basketball training facility for young athletes, in the city's Roxborough section.

"I think that every kid needs a role model, and need someone take can take them under their wing and bring them in," Young added. "I think if they use sports it can help them get far in life."

Young uses her life as an example, where sports has helped her achieve many goals.

"Growing up, there's violence, there are drugs, there's anything you can think of growing up in the city, said Young. "And I think that basketball helped me just make it out."

While Philly schools are set to begin the school year virtually, Young's hope with her safe gym space is to provide children with additional outlets.

"I that a lot of schools starting up this week in Philly and a lot of kids are going virtual," said Young. "Any parents that are interested in signing their kids up to keep them active, it's almost like gym class."

Young also says her nonprofit is following all COVID-19 recommend guidelines, only allowing small groups per session.

"I hope that I can bring what I've learned from traveling all these places, and share it with the kids to give them something to look forward to," said Young.
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.