Having been advised by a local partner, “There is no basketball in Puerto Vallarta”, we enjoyed seeing doors open right before our eyes. Knowing the power of the universal language of sport, we were confident that opportunities would present themselves. And that they did! Within a few days of arrival, the team had won an exhibition game versus a local mid-level prison team. As a result, they gained the respect of the inmates and were invited to return and play against the top prison team. Cloud Nine won that game as well. And as we departed the prison for the second time, we received a phone call from the city’s professional team, requesting an official game which was played a couple nights later. Basketball opened the hearts of people all over Puerto Vallarta!
While the team competed in the game at the prison, Ignite Founder Judy Fox and Ignite Board of Directors member Darla (Sheeley) Osterhout went to the women’s side to meet with female inmates. After two hours of simple conversation and encouragement, they led 25-30 female inmates to Salvation. Judy returned during the second visit and gave a clinic for the prison volleyball team.
This trip and its uniqueness will remain in Ignite history as one of the most enjoyable. We will always hold a special place in our hearts for the men of Cloud Nine Basketball!