Former Nova Southeastern University basketball player Alexis Murphy is now the softball coach and assistant girls’ basketball coach at Plantation High. She’s also a full-time English teacher at the school.
But Murphy hasn’t forgotten about her mission to give back to those less fortunate. She’s still the CEO of Hoop For Haiti, a charitable organization that has raised $17,000 to help the Destiny Village orphanage in Pierre Payen, Haiti.
Murphy took her long-awaited first trip to Haiti this past June, bringing shoes, basketballs and other items for the children and seeing first-hand what her devotion had accomplished.
With $8,000 raised, Murphy’s organization had built a basketball court at Destiny Village, and this was her first time seeing it up close. During her trip, Murphy and others from her organization put on a basketball clinic, inviting not just the 48 kids in the orphanage but also others from the community.
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“We had 230 kids show up,” said Murphy, who was a 5-9 guard in her playing days as well as a star shortstop and center fielder in her high school career in Ohio. “We had some kids walking seven miles in 100-degree heat to get to our camp.”
“There were four trucks that went out picking up kids in the local communities. Some of the trucks were piled up with 50 kids — it looked like a clown car when they all got out. But the kids really wanted to come.”
Putting on a proper basketball clinic for 230 children with just just two hoops — one full court — was an impossible task. The fact that most of the campers did not speak English just added to the degree of difficulty.
But Murphy still said it was an amazing experience, and she can’t wait to return in June 2017 for what she hopes is a yearly trip. Murphy said the kids at the camp gravitated toward her, and it was not unusual to see her holding five children simultaneously.
“The Haitian people,” Murphy said, “are the most loving people I’ve ever been around.”
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