AAU program preparing young men for college
Books before ball, an expression you expect to hear within the walls of a school, but now it echoes throughout a local AAU program.
"Basically we're trying to make college accessible and affordable for young people in the Chattanooga area and surrounding areas. So, basically, the ACT is one way to make college accessible and affordable," President of Chattanooga Elite Basketball, Kelcey Watson, said.
Chattanooga Elite Basketball is for kids in 4th-11th grade. Since last year the young men began taking these summer classes a few times a week, and its paid off.
"Last year all of our seniors were qualified, which basically means, qualified through the NCAA clearing house. Which is a great accomplishment and this year we're aiming for the same thing," Watson said.
Now it is summer, so challenges present themselves.
"It was funny because everybody didn't know anything because we out of school," 10th grade student, Cassius Little, said.
But they know when to get down to business.
"We know we got to do our work to get to basketball. So, we're going to focus on our work more than basketball will come after," Little said.
And like a good team, this success takes teamwork, that includes the help from BMW Chattanooga, who's provided the young men with supplies for their classes.
"Not only is sports important here but the education is extremely important as well, so they can journey on to their next level in their life," Finance Manager of BMW Chattanooga, Parnell Pitts, said.
And what's special is the class is open to young men from any sport hoping to walk out college bound.
"They've really worked hard. So, it's been really special watching them and I just feel honored to be part of it," ACT Prep teacher, Paula Wood, said.