Living in the current times of the social media centric era, ‘hands on’ community oriented events have slowly started to tale off due to the consumption and fault of many miscellaneous variables and interest, especially events for the youth. The activities and events that once unified and connected the community are starting to make its way back to Flint, and this is all being facilitated by the hands of youth coach Diante Lyles.
Coach Lyles, a 16 year coaching veteran, currently coaches the Flint Flames Youth Basketball Team. He’s always been tapped into the communities youth, finding his coaching niche years ago by channeling his inspiration through his then adolescent nephew. Throughout his years of coaching, Lyles has had a chance to get his hands on some of Beechers more storied ball players. Names like Monte Morris, Jalen Terry, Earnest Sanders, Keyon Menifield, and many others immediately come to mind. Coach Lyles has a genuine love for the kids and community that has parlayed itself into the Flint Flames and The Flint Development Center.
The Flint Flames were founded in 2019, started by a partnership between Diante Lyles and his close friend EJ Williams. Lyles and Williams each had similar age children and wanted to start something proactive for the kids that would keep them engaged in basketball friendly events and activities. What started as a 1st grade program would quickly grow into a widespread city staple for the youth. The community quickly got involved, falling in love with Coach Lyles idea of a youth program. Lyles was onto something. While local involvement continued to increase, Lyles increased his efforts as well, opening the door for more teams and age groups to the join the program.
The Flint Development Center (previously known as Bunche Elementary) is home of the Flint Flames. The Flint Development Center embodies its name; it’s much more then just home to a basketball team. Development is what they’re all about there, it’s essentially a location for Flint’s youth renaissance. Outside of the basketball team, the establishment offers after-school programs. These services include various events and activities for the kids, tutoring help for those in need of a learning hand, and also multiple forms of literacy lessons. All of these aspects are covered and taught under principles of guidance and light, respect and discipline - instilling life lessons through education and sports is key for Coach Lyles.
The Flint Development Center is open Monday through Thursday from 4pm-7:30pm.
This past week everything came full circle for Diante and everyone involved as he successfully hosted a Flint Flames ‘Lock In’ Event. The event was perfect for the kids of the community; kids ranging from 7-14 filled the development center with plenty of laughter, smile, and good vibes. It was a night of fun for kids, who had their choice of board games, gaming systems, snack and concessions, various contest and prizes, and many other things to keep the entertainment up. Beecher’s own YSR Gramz even appeared and put on a unforgettable performance for the kids. Its safe to say this event was a major success and great look for the community moving forward.