(Sports Academic Consortium)
The primary purpose of our SAC basketball teams will be to stabilize and support at-risk youth in the Allen County community. Players will be taught, drilled, and developed into the best players that they can become, but more importantly, MVP will use the game of basketball to help them understand the importance of academics and how it can influence and lead to a productive life. We will teach and emphasize to the youth the importance of being of good character and of valuing themselves. MVP will help them understand self-development, positive decision making, and being held accountable for their actions. The program is geared towards utilizing the athletic work ethic that all of the participants already have by helping them focus that same kind of energy into academics and personal enrichment.
Teams will be represented by children in each of the grades, 4-8. The participants will be exposed to many of our communities finest role models. Our coaches have played sports and have achieved success on the court and in the classroom. One of the biggest strengths of the SAC Program is the stability that is established due to the coach directing the same core nucleus of each team year after year as the teams/youth progress. Each coach will work with his team members to establish team and individual goals that are academic, athletic, and begin the process of preparing the student athlete to attend college. This will allow the student athlete the opportunity to expand on their strengths and improve their weaknesses. The player will be taught the importance of becoming self-sufficient. By the time the youth have completed play as an 8th grader, they will be mentally and physically prepared to compete and achieve success in their high school years.
Another strength of the MVP program is the amount of time each coach is able to spend with their team providing guidance as said role model. Teams will be able to compete in Sunday youth leagues, AAU tournaments, basketball clinics, individual lessons, and weekly practices. The value of hard work and attention to detail will be stressed. The amount of time spent with their teammates and coaches will go a long way in building self esteem, team play, and life lessons.
The weekly academic requirements will keep the student athlete focused and help put the youth on a planned course and in a position to succeed. It should be noted that over the life of the SAC program, 77% of it's participants attended college. Most of these did so by means of an athletic scholarship. Obviously, one must be talented to be offered an athletic scholarship. More importantly though, the student athlete must be able to show academic success to be able to accept that athletic scholarship. This is a combination of possessing a quality GPA throughout high school and a solid ACT/SAT test score. Without these academic successes, a scholarship cannot be accepted. The 77% mark put up by the SAC at-risk students is tremendously higher than the national average of 30% put up by at-risk students according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
The SAC Program provides an opportunity to help many at-risk students to achieve life changing success. No child should ever be allowed to fall through the cracks. The statistics quoted above are rather amazing when you consider the fact that the players enter the SAC Program as 4th grade beginning basketball players. To develop these beginners to become both academically eligible and athletically able to be offered and to accept an athletic scholarship is truly remarkable.
"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over?"
Reggie Hearn (top) earned a scholarship to Northwestern University and was signed by the Detroit Pistons. He was named USA Basketball's Player of the Year in 2018. VJ Beachem graduated from Notre Dame and then signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. Both players were SAC Program participants.