Few things are as synonymous to Houston as the graffitied “Be Someone” sign displayed over I-45 on the Crockett Street bridge. In fact, it was one of the first things that stuck with Steven Passons when he landed in Texas over 15 years ago.

Fast forward to 2020 when Passons had the idea to start a youth sports organization and wanted its name to be something all Houstonians could connect with. Thinking back to the first thing he saw as he drove his rental car to his new home, Be Someone Sports was born.

As the Friendswood-, Alvin- and League City-based league prepares to expand into Pearland, Passons sat down with Community Impact to discuss the expansion, the inspiration behind the league and what makes them unique.

How did Be Someone Sports begin?

We started doing basketball tournaments here in the city in May 2020. A few months went by and some of the parents in Friendswood actually contacted me and asked if I would be willing to start a league there. Six weeks later, we started the Be Someone Sports basketball league in Friendswood. The first season we had roughly 400 kids; now we're over 1,000 kids every season. We do a summer league and a winter league, and then we also do volleyball in the spring and fall.

What was your ultimate goal when starting the league?

My ultimate goal was to do better than everybody around us and to give something special to the kids that makes them want to come to us and play basketball or play volleyball. We want to be that bridge between a non-competitive league but also not be as competitive as the select team side of things. We want to give every kid an opportunity to play and learn and grow and get the chance to win.

What are some things that make Be Someone Sports stand out from other leagues?

One of the biggest things that I've found that I do is I make the kids feel special through the following ways:
  • Making a personalized flyer once they’re confirmed to the league and posting on our social media
  • Hosting a draft where players come into a tryout and all the coaches are there
  • Keeping stats on the kids for the whole season
  • Offering customized uniforms
  • Playing an all star game at the end of the season with players that the coaches nominate
  • Adding in a reporter for this season’s all star game to interview players
What are the age ranges and cost for the leagues?

The age range for most of our leagues are kindergarten through eighth grade for basketball. For volleyball, it's second grade through eighth grade, and the registration fee is going to be $275 and that covers all costs, including uniforms, all practices, all games, everything.

Why did Be Someone Sports decide to expand into Pearland?

I think there's been something lost over the years with select sports, and the amount of select sports out there. I feel like kids aren't proud of the city they live in and don’t want to play for their city. So one of the things that I wanted to bring back was a city versus city atmosphere where at the end of the season, we take the top three teams and we put them into a bracket and we play for a Gulf Coast Regional Championship.

What does the current season look like for the leagues?

Basketball tryouts are starting in November, and then games start in December. What I do is an alternating schedule: for winter we do basketball, for spring we do volleyball, for summer we do basketball and for fall we do volleyball.

What is the most rewarding part of owning this business?

The thing I find the most rewarding is the kids; how excited they get when they see things, how happy they are when things happen. When they get called out of that room, and they run to their coach, and they’ve got their jersey on and the names come across the loudspeakers. The look on their face is priceless.

To learn more about how to join a league at Be Someone Sports, visit their website.

The above story was produced by Community Impact's Storytelling Senior Multi-Platform Journalist Sierra Rozen with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.