In 1986, through the obedience of a recreation minister named Caz McCaslin, Upward Basketball began at a church in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It was God who founded this ministry and has been faithful to see it to fruition. Emphasis was placed on Christlikeness and good sportsmanship, not championships. Changed hearts and lives were seen in both those who played basketball and those who administered the league.
With a full gym and 27 children on a waiting list, Caz began evaluating the church grounds to see if anything could be renovated into a basketball court. The estimate for transforming the youth facility back into a gymnasium was over $11,000. After sharing his burden with a friend, he was generously given the funds needed for renovations and 27 children played for free.
When the next basketball season came, Caz was unsure of what to do. He explored the possibilities of building more courts at the church. When Caz approached his friend who had met his needs before, he heard these words. “Caz, you don’t need another gym…What you need is 1,000 gyms.” This statement led to the growth of Upward Sports from one church to seven churches, and Upward Sports was born. Every new season has brought more leagues, more staff and more opportunities to share the gospel.