Rise Above and Kalispel Tribe plan to open sports and event center at Northern Quest

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. — Some heavy hitters in the sports world spent their day in Spokane, inspiring Native American kids through sports. This is just the start of what ‘Rise Above’ wants to do with its program in Spokane.

Rise Above is working on building a sports and event center in Airway Heights near Northern Quest. The organization hopes this will help families beyond the basketball court.

“The Rise Above Center is not only going to be basketball, volleyball courts,” said Jaci McCormack, CEO and co-founder of Rise Above. “It’s going to incorporate our education pieces that we’ll be able to have classrooms, we’ll be able to have food and beverage, we’ll be able to have athletic training.”

The center will also feature 60,000 sq. ft. of courts, room for a basketball-themed hotel and more. Rise Above is giving back to make an impact on families.

It starts with sports clinics such as one that was held on Monday at the HUB in Spokane Valley. The organization helps Native youth overcome challenges through sports, education and mentorship.

Monday’s volleyball and basketball clinic was not only about sports, but hearing success stories. Athletes like Lenny Wilkens and actor Danny Glover shared theirs with the children.

“When they hear the stories about how people have overcome their own barriers and overcome challenges in their own lives, we know that creates come hope,” McCormack said. “When kids hear from other successful folks, success creates success.”

The Kalispel Tribe is partnering with Rise Above to develop the center. The tribe named Rise Above as the primary beneficiary of the its Paddle Charity Classic for the next five years.

Rise Above is planning on more centers — more centers to create better lives for Native children.

The center has not broke ground yet, but they are going full speed ahead to make it happen.

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