What is the point of hope?

by Jan on November 9, 2011

Young "Harpooners" playing ball in Point Hope

Young "Harpooners" playing ball in Point Hope Image source: Jim Wilson/New York Times

Point Hope, Alaska is one place where community works together–and has hope. Two hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle–plunged into darkness 9 months out of the year–this tiny and remote whaling town of 900 people is determined to continue winning.

Who could believe that a team as remote as this would have the desire to compete in the larger world and the “moxie” to do it?

The Tikigaq School basketball team has has won year after year of state championships despite having to travel significant distance to play–as much as 12 hours by plane. Sometimes the kids are gone for weeks at a time, practicing and playing to win.

I stumbled upon this inspiring story of community, determination and hope while reading the New York Times this week. You will see the spirit of this team and the community in this short, moving video.

The team and the community are known for their fierce competitiveness. Teamwork is the key in Point Hope–on the court and in their everyday lives.

In this often dark and cold place, the community center is one of the places of light. The gym is a place where dreams are nourished. Open all the time, it is filled with people of all ages.

Our hope for our community leads us to doing things for the greater good. This gives us a sense of pride and accomplishment. One of the basketball players said, “We don’t play for ourselves or for school. We play for the whole community” and another said, “I don’t care how hard I have to work.”

What they’re doing is making the best of a hardship. It can’t be too easy to live in the darkness for so many days, yet they have found light, and hope, through play.

Even in the most distant parts of our nation, there is a point to hope.