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  • Tarrian Rodgers

Creating Young Minds and Establishing Dreams

The dream of many high school athletes and their parents is that someday they will be able to go pro. To get to that point takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Much has already been written about the athlete who, after years of ignoring academics and being passed through classes in high school and college, is left with nothing when the professional dream doesn’t work out. According to the NCAA the probability of a college basketball player going to the NBA is 1.2%.

It certainly is a tough hill to climb but a journey made easier when you have the support of certain programs such as Creating Young Minds out of Lewisville, Texas. Founders Dr. Shira Ackerman, Mathis Crowder and Charley Brown have created a program centered around younger athletes. These young men are developed and trained to be young men first. Hence, the name “Creating Young Minds.”

What makes them different from many basketball academies is that many of their athletes are undiscovered. The athletes they train are given vast opportunities to be successful academically and in the community as a 3.0 GPA and community service are required from each athlete . “The program is not just about basketball, it's about teaching young men about life and how to further themselves beyond the game of basketball. We want them to be business owners and entrepreneurs,”said co-founder Dr. Shira Akerman. The cool part of their educational structure is they are partnered with Grand Canyon University.

On the floor, they are thriving and only improving each year, sending 22 players to the collegiate level since the founding of the program. An unique advantage that this academy offers to young prospects is exposure and networking with being coached by former NBA players such as Jason Maxiel. In terms of exposure the CYL offers different tournaments where their games can be viewed by all in attendance or those with Ustream capabilities. Their CYL Summer League which kicks off July 24-25 and July 31-August 1, 2021 in their home state of Texas. This tournament gives participants the opportunity to win $1000 and to play in front of scouts and analysts. Also, on August 13-14 they will be running a Summer Camp in Las Vegas.

The goal is to push our undiscovered league, we call it undiscovered because many of the prospects go undiscovered, they're very talented. I've seen some of these players play against NBA players and do well against them,” said Coach Mathias Crowder. “Our TBL league if everything goes well as far as sponsorship and everything in the next 2-3 years it will be right up there with the G League.”

In the CYM’s TBL League the talent pool is composed of some G-league and overseas players. Soon, their TBL prospects will be able to play in a brand new 3,000 seated arena which will begin being built in January. Though the program has gotten off to an extremely great start both founders understand the journey is a long way from being over “Character is what is most important to us. We don't judge you by mistakes, we judge you by what you do when you are with us. We want to continue to grow along with impacting more and more lives each day.”

Here are the flyers for their upcoming events.

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