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Youth Invited To Join 'Choice Not Chance' Ball Club
Durham, NC - Taylin Jean, 11, exchanged high-fives with players on the Duke women's basketball team as they returned their basketballs after the pre-game warm-up. She loaded the balls on a sideline cart then flashed a thumbs-up to her mother in the stands.
Taylin's role as ball girl for the home game in Cameron Indoor Stadium came through her participation in Coach Joanne P. McCallie's `Choice Not Chance Ball Club.'
"Taylin has loved the opportunity to mingle with these amazing women," said Taylin's mother, Donetta Gaskin, a supervisor for accounts receivable at Duke's Patient Revenue Management Organization.
The Choice Not Chance Ball Club costs $50 to join and offers admission and special seating to all regular season home games with one guest, as well as post-game receptions and opportunities to meet the players. The club is open to elementary and middle school children.
The club, which started in 2008, reflects MaCallie's repeated philosophy that "choice, not chance, determines destiny."
"Young folks need to be reminded that their little choices are powerful beyond measure if they take the time and thought to make the right choices daily," McCallie said. "The Choice Not Chance Ball Club is an opportunity for these young folks to witness women who have dedicated their lives to choosing the right path."
In addition to game admission and special seating, the club benefits include a newsletter, invitation to open basketball practices and other team events like the NCAA selection night gathering. If more than one child in a family enrolls in the club, the second child's fee is $25.
"It's a great deal for a family," said Kate Senger, director of operations for the women's basketball team, who helps organize club events. "With 11 home games between now and the beginning of the ACC tournament, that works out to less than $2.50 per ticket."
The Gaskin family members are long-time fans of Duke Women's Basketball. Taylin has been participating in the Choice Not Chance club for three years. Her mother said the messages from Coach P are positive reinforcement for Taylin.
"The club is another great source of guidance for her right now to help her move through the transition from elementary to middle school," her mother said. "I'm so very happy to be involved in it with her."
An application to join the Choice Not Chance ball club is available online.
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