Team Spotlight: Waterloo Salvation
From Harrison Barnes and Nick Collison to Kirk Hinrich and Bob Hansen, Iowa has always produced high-level basketball talent. However, for each player from the Hawkeye State who advances to the pros, there are many talented Iowa high school basketballers whose skills go unnoticed or unrefined due to a lack of exposure, training, and accessibility. These boys needed a broader stage to showcase their talent and a structured program that would provide them with the tools to not only become exceptional basketball players, but also exceptional men. In 2017, they found their Salvation.
Based out of The Salvation Army Youth Center in Waterloo, Iowa, Waterloo Salvation Basketball is the first traveling varsity basketball team sponsored by The Salvation Army. Founded with the goal of providing Iowa high school boys with a cost-efficient way to play high-level basketball in the off-season, the program allows players from Waterloo and neighboring areas to hone their basketball skills in tournaments in and around the Hawkeye State.
Team Salvation began its inaugural season in April 2018 as a 16U squad competing in the Hard Work Region of the Prep Hoops Circuit with tournaments in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Since then, they have expanded their field of competition to include games in Missouri, Nebraska, and greater Iowa. In 2019, the program padded a 17U team consisting of 10-12 players that included some unsigned seniors. Waterloo plans to expand the organization to include a third 15U team by next season.
Waterloo Salvation is more than just a basketball organization. For players, it’s more about building character, gaining experience, and getting exposure they otherwise might not get.
Through discipline on and off the court, Salvation program director and head coach Charles Masmar is able to keep his players on the straight and narrow path during the spring and summer off-seasons. He also stresses the importance of social and academic success just as much as athletic superiority.
“Our mission each year is to provide an outlet for young men to compete, learn, build relationships, and to stay focused on important aspects in life,” said Masmar to PrepHoops.com.
Style to Match Their Skills
As a 501(c)3 organization, Waterloo Salvation is funded through donations that go towards tournament entry fees, travel expenses, and uniform costs, among other incidentals. Through hard work and community support, Waterloo Salvation players were recently blessed with vibrant sublimated team jerseys courtesy of Imperial Point.
With a fresh team logo and custom uniforms, the Waterloo Salvation finished their summer 2019 season in style at the National Summer Classic in Waukegan, Illinois. While Team Salvation’s 17U finished 4–3 and 16U 2–4, both teams are ready to return next season with a renewed swagger thanks, in no small part, to the unifying and affordable sublimated jerseys from Imperial Point. If you’re ready to give your players a proven boost in confidence and performance, click here to start designing your own custom team uniforms.