by Natasha Belle
This Cameroon native was allotted the opportunity to play basketball in the United States as a teen. He’s no longer playing basketball but has paved the way for disadvantaged youth. His organization has provided the same opportunities through sports while supporting orphans in Africa.
Founder Yannick Formbor, 33, grew up in Douala, Cameroon a country in Central Africa. In 2003, he was invited to “Basketball Without Borders” in South Africa. He caught the attention of coaches in the United States and pursued his educational and basketball dreams at St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
After high school, Formber earned a basketball scholarship to Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated with a Business Administration degree minoring in Communications.
“After college, I did not go overseas because my daughter was still a baby and I didn’t have the heart to be so far away from her. So, I gave up basketball.”
Formber found a way to give back without giving up his love for basketball. Blossom Youth is a non-profit organization with a mission to empower African youth to become tomorrow’s leaders, through education, athletics, art, mentorship, and leadership. They have one location in Harrisburg, PA and they work with three orphanages in Africa.
“Basketball has a huge part in the program because it’s part of who I am and is something I understand well. We try to promote education, sports, art, leadership through our camps and sports event. With time we will branch out into soccer, volleyball, and other sports. We understand that each kid is different and might have a different passion.”
Right now, the organization’s focus is to provide better living conditions for the children at the orphanage. They will facilitate a basketball camp in the Ivory Coast and two in Cameroon, Africa this year. Their mission is to improve people’s lives, bring hope, and make people believe in themselves again.