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Connecting the Dottes: Tamar "Scoop" Bates Brings True Talk to Wyandotte County Juvenile Detention Center

In an inspiring series of sessions, the Jegna Klub’s Connecting The Dottes True Talk Coaching Program welcomes guest speakers weekly to engage with juvenile offenders at the Wyandotte County Juvenile Detention Center (JDC). This initiative aims to provide a structured and supportive environment where youth can address the issues contributing to their involvement in the criminal justice system. Among the notable speakers was Tamar "Scoop" Bates, a KCK native and Junior Mizzou Basketball Player, who shared his journey and insights with the young residents.

Bates is no stranger to the challenges and triumphs of pursuing excellence in both sports and personal development. As a standout junior guard for the Missouri Tigers, Bates has established himself as a formidable player in the world of college basketball. His journey from Kansas City, Kansas where he and his brother Trey won the first in school history Kansas 4A State Championship for Piper High School, to the courts of Mizzou is a testament to his dedication, resilience, and passion for the game.

Bates basketball journey began in the heart of KCK, where he developed his skills and honed his craft. His talent quickly became evident, leading to a successful high school career and subsequent recruitment to play for the Missouri Tigers. Known for his explosive athleticism and sharp shooting, Bates has become a key player for the team, earning accolades and recognition for his contributions on and off the court.

On May 15, 2024, Tamar Bates brought his unique perspective and encouraging message to the JDC. Reflecting on his experience, Bates shared, "I feel like the engagement experience went really well. From the time we played Uno to the time I left, it was really smooth. They all have great personalities, and even under their circumstances at this age, most of them find a way to keep a smile on their face. That put a lot into perspective for me."

Bates emphasized the importance of choosing one's own path to success. He recounted his own decision to pursue basketball and academics rather than succumbing to negative influences. "My point of emphasis was choosing to walk my own path that would lead me down a road of continued success in what I love to do, in comparison to succumbing to the life that my peers around me were living," he said.

For the youth in the detention center, seeing someone who looks like them achieving success can be a powerful motivator. Bates highlighted this impact, stating, "I think it’s extremely important for them to see someone who looks like them doing what they may think is impossible. There is another way to live, and much more to the world than KC that they deserve to see."

Tamar Bates' commitment to giving back to his community extends beyond the JDC sessions. On June 8th, he will host the first annual The Inside Scoop Youth Basketball Camp for 3rd to 8th-grade students at Homefield KCK. This camp aims to instill hope and confidence in the youth of Kansas City, Kansas, by providing them with skills and inspiration to pursue their dreams.

Bates shared his vision for the camp, saying, "I’m having the camp to instill hope & confidence into the youth of my city. I want them to know they are more than capable of building upon the legacy that I’m creating as well as those that came before me. Most importantly, we are coming together to get better and leave a lasting impact that will help catapult these kids to continue to chase their dreams."

The True Talk Coaching Program's engagement opportunities are crucial for the development and rehabilitation of detained youth. By interacting with role models like Tamar Bates, these young individuals are exposed to positive influences and real-life examples of success. These sessions help the youth see beyond their current circumstances and envision a brighter future.

Bates' reflections underscore the importance of such programs. "It’s extremely important for them to see someone who looks like them doing what they may think is impossible. There is another way to live," he said. His message of perseverance, self-determination, and hope resonates deeply with the youth, offering them a sense of possibility and a roadmap for their own journeys.

Bates' journey from Kansas City to the heights of college basketball serves as an inspiring example of what is possible with determination and focus. His engagement with the youth and upcoming basketball camp highlight his commitment to giving back and empowering the next generation. Through initiatives like these, the Jegna Klub continues to make a meaningful impact, helping young individuals navigate their challenges and build a foundation for future success.


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