The Woodlands High School Youths “Summer Swish” in Italy

Four years ago an idea was formed by the assistant coach, David D’Allesandro, to organize a youth basketball tournament in Chieti, Italy. Raised in Chieti since he was 10 years old and then moving to The Woodlands in 2014, David would frequently get asked questions about US basketball and the differences with Italy. “I thought it would be nice for them to see with their own eyes. Bringing the two worlds together – what a better way than sports and teenagers?”

Houston Swish was formed alongside head coach Ferdinand “Yogi” Williams, a ten-year veteran coach from Phoenix, AZ including surrounding Houston areas. The next few months practices were held twice a week at Crossroads Church in Magnolia with AAU tournaments played in between. When asked about their preparation Yogi said, “These young men have displayed tremendous passion, intensity and dedication during the previous 3 months of skills training, conditioning, practices, scrimmages and games to prepare for this trip. No matter the size, athleticism or skill of our opponents these young men play together and execute a winning strategy because they believe in each other.”

On June 13th, the team was en route to Italy and within 24hrs of touching down they were off playing their first game. “This opportunity to travel abroad to Italy and experience basketball in a different environment with different rules, different languages and challenges was a priceless experience. I expected this trip to be a lifetime memory, but it also empowered these young men to overcome adversity, maximize their potential,” said Yogi, who then noted perhaps one of these boys may be inspired to play or coach basketball beyond high school.

Their two weeks abroad included more practices and scrimmages, but there was plenty of relaxing on the beach and exploring the beautiful town of Chieti. Chieti is amongst the ancient of Italian cities, situated in the Abruzzo region, a few kilometers away from the Adriatic Sea with the Majella and Gran Sasso mountains in the background. According to mythological legends, the city was founded in 1181 BC by the Homeric Greek hero Achilles and was named in honor of his mother, Thetis. It was called Theate.

When the captain of the team was asked to share his favorite experience about this trip, Federico D’Allesandro a sophomore at The Woodlands High School responded, “Since we moved to The Woodlands I felt like I belonged to two different and separate worlds. My Italian friends and then my friends from the US. It was amazing to see how quickly and easily these “worlds” merged together though! I was also very happy that there were true connections made between my two groups of friends. I have a feeling these two groups will be seeing each other again.”

Market Street 4th of July Festivities

Market Street has completed a property-wide renovation of the award-winning shopping, dining, and entertainment destination. The project took eight months to complete and focused on Market Street’s Central Park. Retailers and shoppers alike are in for a truly unique experience with the new changes!

Photography by Robert Harrington

Natural Grass in Central Park was replaced with weather-resistant and ecologically sustainable synthetic turf in order to better suit year-round festivities and events. New comfortable seating, charming pergolas, eye-catching lighting systems, and an interactive water deck have also all been added for a memorable experience.

Some other exciting changes include enhanced landscaped pedestrian walkways, contemporary parking, traffic management improvements, and relaxation areas. The restrooms have been completely renovated and water bottle fill stations have been added in order to better serve guests’ needs.

Kathleen O. Ryan Fine Art Photography

Market street completed all of its construction just in time to host the 44th South Montgomery County 4th of July Parade, ensuring a magical celebration for our community. On Independence Day Market Street will be hosting the popular patriotic tradition, which will feature marching bands, parade floats, and local dignitaries. The parade will kick off at 9:00 a.m., but red, white, and blue activities will not stop there! Adrian Michael will be entertaining with live music from 6:00-8: 00 p.m. in Central Park.

Kathleen O. Ryan Fine Art Photography

The 44th Annual South Montgomery County 4th of July Parade will be led by Grand Marshall and local philanthropist Christine Clinkenbeard as well as Grand Marshall Lt. Commander Charles Michael Abell. The audience will be able to enjoy retired U.S. Navy marching bands, high school marching bands, various military branches, fire engines, horses, and impressive floats. It will be a family-friendly festivity where everyone can celebrate our great nation and community; come out and enjoy!

Kathleen O. Ryan Fine Art Photography

Kathleen O. Ryan Fine Art Photography

 

Summer Fun for Dads and Grads

Looking for a new and different experience for the Dad or Grad in your life this summer? Check out some of the hidden gems in our area for a new adventure to share with your special someone.

Take Flight- Helicopter Academy– Learn to fly a helicopter at the Helicopter Academy at the Conroe Regional Airport. An introductory flight lesson is $350 and includes an hour of ground instruction and a 30-minute flight. If learning to fly isn’t on your bucket list, try a 30-minute photo tour for two for $300. While you are there enjoy a bite to eat at the Black Walnut Café on the rooftop and watch the planes land and take off. For more information contact Matt Goodwin 602.432.1968, www.thehelicopterschool.com

 

Chef for a Day- TRIS- Experience a master at work. Shadow award-winning Chef Austin Simmons as Chef for the Day at TRIS The Woodlands. A personalized package may include selecting the cuisine and technique you would like to learn, prepping with Chef Austin and then tasting your creation at lunch, followed by a dinner at Cureight that evening. Price varies but starts at $400. For more information, visit www.triswoodlands.com or call 281.203.5641

 

Virtual Reality Lounge- Emergent VR Encounter- For the video game enthusiast, immerse yourself in virtual reality in the high-tech gaming lounge at Emergent VR Encounter. Featuring an expansive game library there is something for everyone. www.emergentvrencounter.com

Burn Some Energy- Texas TreeVentures- The new ropes course nestled in the trees at Rob Fleming Recreation Center in Creekside Park will have you soaring to new heights. The aerial challenge course is surrounded by the George Mitchell Nature Preserve and has adventures for both youths and adults. www.texastreeventures.com

 

Catch Some Air- Hangar 9 Wake Park- Just north of The Woodlands off I-45 is a hidden cable wake park, perfect for beginners to try wakeboarding. Don’t worry, if you are already a seasoned professional they have plenty of jumps and options for you as well. www.hangar9wakepark.com

 

Become a Warrior- Texas Axe Throwing– Yes, axe throwing is a thing, and it is now offered in The Woodlands. Texas Axe Throwing offers 2-hour “axe-periences” with expert Axe Masters available for individuals ages 12 and up. Winners earn the title of Lumber Queen or King. www.texasaxe.com