Former Merrimack College women’s basketball student-athlete, 1,000-point scorer and professional player Chloe Rothman ’15 is currently working with Shooting Touch, a non-profit organization dedicated to using the power of basketball to educate and empower at-risk youth.
Rothman has been based in Rwanda through the fellowship program offered by Shooting Touch. Along with one other fellow, local coaches and junior coaches, Rothman works with children ages 5-18 as well as adult women to teach them the sport of basketball as a way to emphasize and educate the Rwandan youth on the importance of health and fitness.
“I live in Rwinkwavu, a village in the east, and before shooting touch came to Rwinkwavu, these kids didn’t have much to do. They have something to focus on now. Being physically active is important, of course, but we also do our best to keep them mentally active,” said Rothman. “As I describe all these things, I feel like this job isn’t even about basketball. We are out here, day in and day out, mentoring. We hope we can influence these kids to live healthier lives.”
In addition to the basketball aspects of the program, the Shooting Touch staff develops and teaches health-education curriculum to all those involved with the program. The curriculum is part of Shooting Touch’s mission to help educate and empower at-risk individuals to live healthier and disease-free lives.
“We host tournaments where our 5 courts get a chance to compete against each other and this is the biggest event of their year, by far. It’s exciting giving trophies and food and supplying music at these tournaments. And we give donated shoes and basketball gear to the kids as well. But the best part is the camaraderie that accompanies all of these things. It’s a joy working out here and I’m so thankful for the opportunity.”
Rothman graduated following the 2014-15 season and ended her four-year career with 1,329 points, the sixth most in program history. The combo guard dished out 484 assists, the third most of any student-athlete to suit up for the Navy and Gold. As a senior, Rothman broke the school record for career 3-pointers and graduated with 189 makes from distance.
About Shooting Touch
Shooting Touch is an international sport-for-development organization using the power of basketball to educate and empower at-risk youth and the communities in which they live. For more information, visit www.shootingtouch.com