The Freeman-French Connection. Kent Becker, who grew up in Freeman, So. Dak., has lived in the Bordeaux region of France for the past two decades. He is a pastor who has found a way to pursued his interest in coaching basketball.
The attached article describes how Kent uses basketball to reach the community and 9 youth in particular.
“Social life in France is highly based in clubs and associations,” he said. “That is where you meet people.”
“For Becker there was a logical and personal connection to those clubs that came through his family. Becker and his wife, Sonya, have five children — the oldest is 23 and the youngest is 14 — and have lived in France since 1993.”
Kent and Sonya’s children: Hannah, 23, is studying voice and vocal performance at Houghton College in New York. Stefan, 21, has just earned an associate’s degree at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyo. He is transferring to Grace University in Omaha, Neb., to pursue a bachelor’s degree seeking to be a math teacher and pursue coaching basketball. Sofia, 19, just graduated from high school and will be going to Frontier School of the Bible, La Grange, Wyo. Lydia, 18, graduated this year from high school. She has been accepted at Eastman School of Music, Rochester, N.Y., in violin. Her desire is to play professionally. Joella, 14, has recently been accepted to preparatory cycle studies to pursue a career in cello performance.
A sports fan, Burkholder said he’s preaching a “triangle offense” approach to agency clients.
“The first part is Web development – that’s the foundation piece,” he said. “The second is content marketing – blogging, e-mail, social marketing. The third is where we look at search engine optimization.”
Burkholder, 40, grew up in north Wichita, graduated from Heights High and then earned degrees in communications and the Bible from Grace University in Omaha. He worked for Harvest Communications here before returning to Omaha to work in community relations for the K-Love Christian music radio network.
“For those years, almost monthly I was at a venue with a Christian concert,” said Burkholder, whose mother was a choir director at their church for 40 years. “Those were good years.”
Burkholder returned to Wichita to work as manager of content and strategic positioning for Preferred Health Systems before its sale. For the past three years, he’s worked for AJR Media Group of Spring, Texas, which serves the tourism industry, while living in Derby.
Burkholder and his wife, Staci, have three children: a son, Lane, 8; and daughters Aliyah, 6, and Avery, 4.
“A lot of my time has really been spent investing in our kids – driving the girls to dance, taking my son to Cub Scouts,” he said. “And we love to bike as a family when the weather’s nice.”