Erik Spoelstra

By Megan Inglis

On Saturday, December 13, the Erik Spoelstra Basketball Academy (ESBA) hosted a clinic for students from Breakthrough Miami. The ESBA Coaches, along with Spoelstra, treated the Breakthrough Miami participants to an afternoon filled with fun, drills and a bit of chalk talk.

Breakthrough Miami provides an academic enrichment program that uses a students-teaching-students model to ensure that motivated, under-resourced middle-school students have access to high-school opportunities, graduate from high school on time, and attend college. Because of the program, in 2013, 100 percent of Breakthrough Miami high school seniors graduated on time and 98 percent of them enrolled in colleges or universities. The organization focuses on identifying children’s passions and goals while using education as a means to reach them.

When asked about Breakthrough Miami, Coach Spoelstra stressed the importance of supporting such an outstanding program: “Obviously, basketball is a huge passion of mine, but education is right up there with it. Breathrough Miami is an organization that we’ve wanted to partner with for a while. It is an amazing organization that provides educational opportunities for kids that do not have them. They encourage kids to follow their dreams while giving them the tools to make them happen. For us to be a part of that, even in a small way, is a privilege.”

Spoelstra and the other coaches ran the kids through layup lines, dribbling drills and defensive workouts, offering hands-on guidance to the young athletes. “Coaching these kids reminds me of when I was their age. For whatever reason, basketball struck a cord with me and being involved in the game became a dream of mine. Being able to share that with the kids out here is very special. Watching them get excited about what that round ball can do, it’s just fun to watch,” said Spoelstra.

To learn more about Breakthrough Miami, please visit And, to learn more about the Erik Spoelstra Basketball Academy, visit