09/30/2015 6:17 PM
Hurricanes Basketball owner Maryann Wahhab grew up in the water. She always was a swimmer and diver, and excelled in water-polo as well. Not surprising for a Southern-California native.
Then, in 8th grade, Wahhab tried out for the basketball team.
Hurricanes age groups range from 2nd grade to high school in both boys and girls
She was a natural.
Wahhab advanced in her career throughout high school, and was offered a scholarship to play at DeAnza College. Unfortunately, a career-ending injury her freshman year cut her basketball-playing days short.
For athletes of that level, you can take away the sport they play, but you can never take away the competitive drive.
From that moment forward, Wahhab knew she wanted to be involved in the sport, somehow. She finished college at San Diego State — as a collegiate rower — and took a job at Horizon High School in San Diego. She also coached the local club team there.
It was always her plan to come to Texas to pursue a Master’s degree in Sport Management, so after a few years, she moved to the Lone Star State and in May 2007 she started Hurricanes Basketball.
At the time, Hurricanes consisted of one team. Wahhab and her business partner created a business plan, and were amazed at how quickly Hurricanes grew.
The program now hosts over 30 teams, both boys and girls, ranging from 2nd grade to high school ages.
The secret to her success?
“We make an investment in our kids,” Wahhab said. “There’s a character and heart component to everything we do with Hurricanes, we’re not just invested in the basketball side.”
To Wahhab and her program, the opportunity to positively affect a young athletes life off the court is just as important as the basketball skill she teaches.
“There are so many examples of kids who have grown into young adults in our program,” she said.
Whether it is a child who had attitude problems, who struggled in school or who were the victims of bullies, Hurricanes Basketball strives to make a difference.
“We want all of our kids to know that we are a part of their lives.”
It isn’t just on the home-front, though.
Now in its third year, Red Sports Inc. is a non-profit organization run through Hurricanes BB that sponsors trips to Mexico to teach basketball to underprivileged kids. Five high school-aged members of the Hurricanes make the trek down to San Jose Del Cabo for a four-day basketball camp each year.
“It serves as a great reminder to our kids that we are blessed,” Wahhab said. “We live in excess and have opportunities that others don’t.”
The Hurricanes have been a regular at PrimeTime events in recent years.
“We have great respect for PrimeTime and the work they do in this market,” Wahhab said. “Thaddeus and the whole crew always treat us with respect, accommodate us as best they can and I know that my voice will be heard if I have a concern.”
Hurricanes Basketball started from scratch less than ten years ago, and is now one of the larger programs in Dallas.
“In the end, just like our mission statement says, we want to our athletes to build the heart and character of a champion.”