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You Miss the Shots You Don't Take: Building Community with Basketball with Kenny Holdsman

In this episode, Dr. George James interviews Kenny Holdsman about his colorful journey towards becoming the current President, CEO and co-founder of the Philadelphia Youth Basketball team. Kenny Holdsman and Dr. George James discuss: Finding one’s true personal and professional fulfillment Embracing Social Justice Facing fears, making difficult decisions and overcoming setbacks Highlights: 9:00 Kenny Holdsman “I think what it taught me is that, you know, for starters, we're all human beings, we all want to self determine and be happy. We generally have similar values. And it taught me that regardless of one starting point, one's faith, tradition, the complexion of one skin, that we're all to be valued and we're all valuable, and having friendships with people who have walked in different shoes than yourself. People who look different than yourself, all that stuff is to be embraced even more fully, that all too often, people just retreat into these cocoons. They kind of replicate what's comfortable, you go to high school, and then you hang out with the same crew that you built in middle school. And then you go to college, and you try to replicate it in the people and a lot of times that creates, you know, serious homogeneity. One of the things that I got from Cheltenham was, being comfortable in your own skin, and appreciating people's differences, not from the level of tolerance, but from the level of, like, genuine curiosity and appreciation.” 11:00 Kenny Holdsman “I think I have an overdeveloped need to derive meaning and purpose and psychic value from my work. And it's that, I receive an abundance. It's bountiful. And I wake up every day, really energized and excited to get after it with my colleagues. And so to think about that, in terms of sacrifice just seems off to me. I do think that there's moments where I need to try to subjugate my own voice and bigness and take a step back and allow others who are, in many ways, have a deeper connection to the cause and to the community to speak for us.” 29:00 Dr. George James “I've had moments where I've had an idea and have started to see it come to fruition. I mean, I remember doing events for couples. And you know, what I thought and believed about that new, innovative, creative way, and just seeing it start to come to life, just feels really great.” Bio: President and CEO Kenneth Holdsman has been a staple in the Philadelphia Youth development community for over three decades. His leadership and meaningful contributions in the lives of young people and communities, both on and off the court, has been felt both locally and nationally. Growing up in Elkins Park, PA, Kenny is a proud graduate of Cheltenham High School, Lehigh University, and Temple University School of law. Connect with Kenny Holdsman Facebook: LinkedIn: YouTube: Rate, Review & Subscribe We love hearing from our listeners. If you enjoyed the show, please leave us a rating, review and subscribe anywhere you listen to podcasts. If you aren’t already a part of the LEAPcast community, then please subscribe at

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