I Am Los Angeles is a video portrait series created by journalist and filmmaker Joris Debeij, showcasing the unique people and their ideas that make L.A. what it is. KCET Departures will be featuring these videos as part of our continuing coverage of the shifting cultures of Los Angeles.
This is the unlikely story of how Katy Haber became the City of Compton's Ambassador to cricket, and how learning the game became a life-changing experience for a team of former gang members, one of them named Sergio.
Katy Haber was born in England and played cricket at school there. Many years later the film business brought Katy to LA. In the '90s she worked at the Dome Village Homeless shelter, where she worked with the renowned homeless activist Ted Hayes. Katy and Ted had discovered a common passion for helping the less privileged, and they decided to start the Compton Cricket Club. Offering the youth of Compton an alternative to the ravages of gang activities through the ethical, gentlemanly sport of cricket.
When Ted and Katy brought cricket to Compton, Sergio had never heard of the game. At first he visualized a small race track with actual crickets. He had no way of knowing that this game would change his life forever. But drawn to the novelty of the little known sport of Cricket, and the idea that he could be a part of an elite, unique team from Compton, Sergio dedicated himself to the game with purpose.
Ever since then, Sergio has been a member of the team and Katy has been the Manager of a club that has toured through many continents as Cricket Ambassadors of Good Will. This unique Cricket Team has gone way Out of the Boundary by showing the world a positive image of Compton, and they are now planning to bring the game to other disenfranchised youth around the US.
Originally published on I Am Los Angeles, 2012.
Check out more video portraits at I Am Los Angeles.