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AZ Guardsman inspires greatness in youth through 'Hoop Code Basketball Academy'

Tech. Sgt. Brandon Godfrey, Command Support Staff, 161st Air Refueling Wing, places an ornament on a Christmas tree in the wing's Dining Facility during the Unit Training Assembly here Dec. 3, 2017. Godfrey grew up playing basketball and seeks to use it as an instrument to teach children the value of integrity, hard work and dedication. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by 2nd Lt. Tinashe Machona)

Tech. Sgt. Brandon Godfrey, Command Support Staff, 161st Air Refueling Wing, places an ornament on a Christmas tree in the wing's Dining Facility during the Unit Training Assembly here Dec. 2, 2017. Godfrey grew up playing basketball and seeks to use it as an instrument to teach children the value of integrity, hard work and dedication. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by 2nd Lt. Tinashe Machona)

GOLDWATER AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ariz. --

Christmas is a time for giving and one Airman has demonstrated an unwavering desire to mentor the youth in his community, in an effort to unlock their potential for greatness. Tech. Sgt. Brandon Godfrey, a 10-year veteran and Arizona Air Guardsman, provides life skills to the youth and helps the underprivileged.

Hoop Code Basketball Academy teaches young athletes the importance of education along with the passion and humility to learn. It is designed to create a culture and foundation that emphasizes education on and off the court by holding the players accountable both athletically and academically.

“Our program trains kids from the most basic of basketball skills to the most advanced, some of whom end up going to college or play basketball professionally,” said Godfrey, who works for the Command Support Staff for 161st Air Refueling Wing. He added that the more important factor in training the kids is helping them acquire valuable life skills. Such training can either be in big or small groups ranging from various leagues and camp activities.

Godfrey said he is energetic about the program because it gives him an opportunity to use basketball as a tool to maximize the full potential for young kids, thus living up to the CODE mantra character, opportunity, dedication and education.

Hoop Code has its humble beginnings in the Bay area in California. It was not until June, 2017 that it moved to Scottsdale, Arizona.

Hoop Code Basketball Academy recently established a partnership and implemented its staff of certified professional coaches into the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale, a municipality in Arizona. The program is there to help kids develop themselves and is also available to families experiencing financial hardship or disadvantaged kids to obtain the precious skills offered.

Godfrey is a proud father of three boys, which has inspired him to pursue his dream of mentoring and being a role model for children.

“The main goal of the program is to give the kids fundamental skills so they can be prepared to succeed in any situation.” He emphasized the priority is for them to realize their dreams whether it includes basketball or another career. Godfrey said his desire to mentor youth is derived from his character of being a people person.

“Sergeant Godfrey is very passionate about helping kids achieve victory in their endeavors. His wholeheartedness is evident due to his decision to leave Air Force active duty for the purpose of fulfilling his calling to help the kids,” said Master Sgt. Maria Breceda, Godfrey’s supervisor. Breceda added that Godfrey exhibits remarkable leadership skills, which she believes are attributable to his mentorship of the kids.

“The kids enjoy playing the game of basketball. I love to see them persevere and delight in the fruits of their labor. That in-and-of-itself is a gift that Hoops Codes has given them – learning the value of their hard work,” said Godfrey. He added that such enjoyment is very similar to the excitement you would see on their faces when they open presents on Christmas day.

Godfrey said he hopes to inspire kids to stay true to themselves, be vindicated in what they believe in, and to always put their best effort forward in whatever they do.

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