The MVP Basketball Program was founded in 1995 in Grant County, Indiana
running adult basketball leagues and a single youth travel team by Mitch
Sturm. Current NBA All-Star, Zach Randolph, played on that original youth
team. As time passed, many programs were added and improved, and the
youth teams won both state and national AAU championships. Players went
on to compete at universities all over the midwest, and a lot of fun was had
by many children and adults. Along the way, MVP Founder, Mitch Sturm
had a conversation with a best friend of his, Oatess Archey. Mr. Archey
was a highly respected and highly decorated retired FBI agent, and was the
current Grant County Sheriff. During the conversation, Mr. Archey spoke
about life and how a person wanted to be remembered. He stated,
"When you die, how do you want to be remembered? Do you want to
be someone that left the world a better place, left it a worse place, or
do you want to just leave?"
This conversation had a profound impact. How could Mitch really make things a better place? The answer was easy. Through a love of children and a love and knowledge of basketball, the MVP Basketball Program needed to be expanded from just teams and leagues, to teams, leagues, events and a way to combine those into improving children's quality of life issues and academics. Through the proper format, MVP Basketball could build academics through athletics, build character, accountability and discipline in a fun environment. Many programs offered "A safe place for kids." At MVP, we were more interested in what we were providing for the children while they were in a safe place. Partnerships were built with schools, school teachers, law enforcement and many other roles models to help guide and nurture the children, and the adult programs were eliminated at this point.
Sports programs have proven that they can positively impact the self-esteem and self-concept for young people. Sports provide a forum to learn skills such as discipline, confidence, work ethic, and leadership. It teaches core principles such as tolerance, cooperation, and respect. Sports teach the value of effort and how to manage victory as well as defeat. Teaching and emphasizing to the youth the importance of good character and positive decision making are always of the utmost importance. Fort Wayne lacks more youth programs that realize and embrace the strength and importance sports have on children, while at the same time emphasize academics and personal adjustment.
The key factor to our program is that none of our participants
are required to pay anything for the services and activities
that they receive or participate in. MVP can both see and
understand the impact that our programs can have on and
benefit each child. Furthermore, we recognize the importance
and need for a program within the community that will not
cause any type of financial hardship for the families involved.
MVP Basketball is an organization committed to improving
the lives of young student-athletes throughout Allen County
and the State of Indiana. MVP does this by offering the
following programs: Collegiate Exposure Camps, Back
to School Program, The SAC Program, March Middle
School Madness Tournament, Allen County Middle School
All-Star Classic, Allen County Senior All-Star Classic, Marquee
Match-up Game of the Week, Player and Team Clinics, Coaches
Clinics, High School Showcase and the June Team Camps.
Since its' inception in 1989, the term full potential has been a part of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne's mission. We believe that providing children with a safe, nurturing and empowering environment will give them a real opportunity to reach their full potential. The BGCFW provides after school and summer programming to at-risk youth. Through partnerships and collaborations with other local organizations, BGCFW is able to continue to feed the hungry, provide educational support to those struggling in their academics and instill morals and values to those misdirected youth, ultimately transforming the future of the Allen County Community. Daily, over 30 age appropriate curriculum based programs developed by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America are facilitated during programming. The objectives of these programs include: academic success, building social skills/self-esteem, character development and giving children a sense of hope and opportunity. The organization provides programming in the following five core areas: Education and Career Development, Character and Leadership Development, The Arts, Sports, Fitness, and Recreation and Health and Life Skills.
A young Oatess Archey coaching basketball. Always teaching, always inspiring. His teams were a combined 67-5.
Zach and Mitch posing by the court Mitch named after him to help inspire others to achieve their dreams.