“1 Body has touched my life in ways far beyond just playing basketball. I’ve made lifelong friends who I now call family. Playing basketball with this organization has allowed me the opportunity to be engaged with great coaches who have poured into my life on and off the court. All of whom have been instrumental in reinforcing the core values of respect, discipline, and hard work instilled in me by my parents. I have been blessed to employ my leadership skills by serving as an assistant to Coach Mike while at the same time completing community service hour requirement for high school graduation. The impact of 1 Body has truly helped me become the young man that I am today. I am forever grateful for the chance to be part of such a special group.” – KJ Parson, East River HS Class of 2021
THE NEXT WAVE – Ayden, Cam, Dakara, David
Although we typically write about those who have come through our program either, on the basketball or performing arts side, we had to take some time out to highlight a few young people that have stood out over the last few years. This fantastic four are simply dominant, elite level athletes that we are very fortunate to have around our program. But what makes them even more special is that they are all excelling academically, and they are revealing phenomenal leadership qualities that will ensure each of these four are going to do something to greatly impact not only their community, but their world for the better.
MEET AYDEN EDGECOMBE
“The coaches of 1 Body have impacted my life. They taught us a lot about defense and offense. Another great thing about 1 Body are my teammates. Together we have learned a lot of plays and the best times to make our shots. Being a part of this team has also helped me be a better leader.”
MEET CAMRYN LEE
“Playing with 1 Body has made a major impact on my life. It has taught me how to trust., developed my athletic skills, and most importantly taught me how to lead others. I love how we practice really hard and practice a lot, because it has made me the player that I am today. 1 Body has also paired me with teammates that I’ve grown with and they have my back. 1 Body showed me how to never give up and they embraced my potential. They never stopped believing in me. 1 Body will always be my home!”
MEET DAKARA MERTHIE
“When I first joined my 1 Body Family as a fourth grader, I immediately felt right at home. The reason I felt that way is because I was welcomed with open arms. I knew I wanted to play basketball but was very nervous to try. Because of the motivation and encouragement that I received from my coaches, I was able to succeed. They have been there for me through it all, including the tears. Now, as a fifth grader, I am now on an AAU Basketball team having the opportunity to travel the country playing basketball thanks to the preparation and support from my 1 Body Family. My life has changed tremendously, and I will forever be thankful for all that my 1 Body Family has done for me. They have truly been a blessing in my life!”
MEET DAVID COLEMAN
“1 Body impacted my life by helping me meet new friends and helped me get better at basketball. It’s also taught me discipline in learning how to listen and learn from my coaches. I won a tournament for the first time in basketball and it was dope! Coach Thomas and Coach Mike were really cool. 1 Body is my family!”
1 Body Alumni – Bryan Leath
1 Body helped humble me on and off the basketball court. I learned that I need to continue to focus on important things such as go to school and doing what my parents tell me to do because without doing those things, I wouldn’t have been able to play basketball at all. 1 Body was the first program I played for and that’s where I started. 1 Body to me was, and still is a family. I have nothing but love for the organization. Here is where I learned how to be a leader. I learned how to call shots and I attained people skills at a young age. Being with 1 Body took me out of my shell and helped me shine when it came time for it. I am still playing basketball, but I now play for another program.
My plans are to go to college to be a pilot or be a mechanic. If the opportunity presents itself, I would love to keep playing basketball in college and one day make the pros. Whatever God’s plan is for me, I’m okay with it. I’m just beyond thankful for 1 Body, what they do and what they did for me.
Bryan Leath, Oviedo High School Class of 2019
1 Body Alumni – Seleah Thomas
1 Body impacted me immensely and prepared me for life more than I realized it would. I first joined the team in 7th grade and although I no longer play, 1 Body still impacts me as much as it did when I played. On the court it prepared me for higher levels of playing with introductions of new skill sets. It gave me a sense of comradery among my fellow teammates and church members. But how it impacted me the most was teaching me how I can become closer to God in everyday things. I learned that God is a part of all aspects of my life and He is the reason for my success and abilities.
Now as a senior in high school I am anxiously waiting for graduation. As each day passes I’m becoming more and more excited for the next big step I’ll be taking in life. From decorating my dorm to mapping out my schedule it is becoming harder to contain my excitement. This upcoming fall I will be attending Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and will be studying Physical Therapy.
In the future I plan to achieve my Doctorate in Physical Therapy and have my own practice. There are still plans of me becoming an orthopedic doctor or even a surgeon. For now, I am excited for what the near future brings and focusing on the now, enjoying my final days as a senior.
Seleah Thomas, East River High School, Class of 2019
1 Body Alumni – Cristena Mitchell
The biggest eye opener I have learned from participating in the play “One Body” is that I must be myself no matter what. Despite what everyone is doing around me, I am a light unto the world and I should not conform to the acts that others are doing.
Presently, my focus is to pass the Certification Exam for Medical Assisting, while working on my pre-requisites to get into Nursing School. I still aspire to study for an Arts Degree in Choreography or Dance Therapy later on. In addition, I am also involved in the Announcements and Nursery Ministries at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church.
1 Body Alumni – Niya Crawford
“From acting in the first 1 Body play, “1 Body, the Stage Play” I’ve learned how to get out of my comfort zone. At first it was uncomfortable playing a role so realistic to life, but I soon realized like any role, it is just a character telling a story to entertain but more so to help whoever is watching. One thing I took away was humility. It humbled me to be in a play with other teens my age with such a relevant story line. Knowing that one of us could experience a despairing fate based off of one or many bad decisions. On the other hand, I took away confidence. Acting in this play made me realize how much courage and talent I had to perform this play in front of a large audience more than one time. It was a big accomplishment for me and I would recommend acting in any 1 Body play; not just for fun and experience but also for growth within one’s self and growth with the spirit of God.”
What Niya is doing now:
- She modeled in the Orlando Global Fashion Week at the Amway Center in December of 2018.
- She is going into spring semester of her 3rd year at Florida A&M University studying Vocal Performance in hopes of becoming a professional vocal performer.
- She’s currently in the process of producing my new single and an EP project.
1 Body Alumni – Mariah Jones
“Through my involvement on the 1 Body Basketball team, I have learned a lot from all of my coaches, but most importantly my mentor Coach Mike who has always had my best interest at heart and is always supporting me on and off the court. When I first started, I just moved to Orlando and I didn’t know much about basketball and I also lacked the confidence and the skills, but by being in 1Body, I have become a more confident person on and off the court and gained tremendous leadership skills which propelled me to have the current position of captain on my school’s varsity basketball team as a sophomore. Furthermore, by listening to the speakers that shared their testimonies at our practices, it has highlighted the value of dedication, discipline, hard work and what you can potentially achieve through sports. I am very grateful and blessed to have had the opportunity to be part of this great organization.” – Mariah Jones, Winter Springs High School class of 2021.