SXM One Love Chargers, “We won’t stop”.

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — “We won’t stop”, the motto of the SXM One Love Chargers has proven to be their quintessential phrase. What began as the vision of the then 13-year-old Ki-Mani Olivacce last year, has flourished into an amazing story of friendship, teamwork, and perseverance. The culminating aspect of the development of this team is made more notable with their phenomenal example of triumph through adversity. In their very first season, the U15 and U17 divisions of the SXM One Love Chargers reached its pinnacle at the 2014-2015 French Side Tournament this past Saturday May 30th. Both subsets of the team had nearly undefeated games, ending with U15 becoming the reigning champions and bringing home the gold trophy.  U17 also played their hearts out and earned the silver trophy for their 2nd place victory.

The team celebration of their triumphant moments was not complete without taking the time to reflect on the extraordinary circumstances that got them this far. What makes the SXM One Love Chargers such a remarkable team is that it was created by an outstanding youth, who leads by example and rightfully holds the position of their Team Captain. Ki-Mani Olivacce’s selfless aspiration was to create a team for his fellow teammates who were no longer able to continue with the previous team they were on  due to age restrictions. Not deterred, Ki-Mani set a plan in motion in what became not only 2 sensational teams, but also a brotherhood and a bond that can be seen at every practice and shines even greater at games.As an active youth, Ki-Mani has received numerous awards in both swimming and judo, however his distinctive love for the game of basketball is one that surely can not go unnoticed. Ki-Mani understood that to make his dream a reality, he needed the right foundation. Always giving recognition where it’s due, Ki-Mani never misses an opportunity to thank his parents Joseph and Sharmaine Olivacce, for believing in his dream. He also attributes his will to follow his passion to his Aunt, Silvia Meyers-Olivacce, whose continued encouragement and support is a driving force for Ki-Mani. With tremendous effort, Ki-Mani acquired the full support and sponsorship from Nature’s Discount, whose name is proudly displayed on the team’s uniforms as their prime sponsor. Additional support of the team and appreciation goes to Mr. Boasman for his assistance of the Coach during games as well the team’s Counselor, Barbara-Jean Arthur.Stemming from a tryouts that brought out 70 youth from ages 13-17 last June 2014, two teams were formed under the training of Coach Derick Prince, with the initial assistance of Coach Delano Hutchinson. With dedication, Coach Prince shaped the youth into the champions they are today, always keeping player development as a top priority. Although practices were filled with skill developing drills,  Coach Prince also reminded the players to maintain a good academic standing in order to continue in this extra curricular sport.

The team’s road to victory wasn’t without tragedy. Last Friday, the day before their division finals, a teammate and brother’s mother sadly passed away. As a sign of unity and brotherhood, all of the members of the team wore a black ribbon on their uniforms.  During a moment of silence, the games were dedicated to the teammate’s Mom. Everyone participated and played in full force. Dajour Boasman, a U 17 player who was out of commission due to an injury while playing in April, suited up and played as a sign of solidarity as well. With determination and perseverance, U15 beat AYA with a score of 60-53 for 1st place. U 17 gave it their best shot in close game as well. They took 2nd place against the Killer Bees with a score of 61-74, resulting in being awarded the silver trophy.  Earning 1st & 2nd place titles in the 2014-2015 French Side Tournament held at La Savane was an emotional finish to an eventful season.

The SXM One Love Chargers have flourished into the brotherhood that is now represented each time they step on the court. Yet, the camaraderie that is expressed while off the court leaves a lasting impression on those who see them. This is just the beginning of what has proven to be a promising future.

To learn more about Ki-Mani’s team, see updated pictures and videos, and the occasional encouraging message, become a fan by visiting SXM One Love Charger’s Facebook page. With nearly 400 followers, through imagery, many can attest to the admirable bond the team shares. The support that has been shown to the team since the beginning is definitely appreciated.

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