David Starks, Board Member
From the Area Director, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities
I am writing this letter of recommendation on behalf of Lucas Patterson. I have personally worked with Lucas over the past 5 years. As the Director of Future Academic Ballers, Lucas has provided over 125 youth with a basketball program that focuses on youth development, leadership and academic success. Lucas has a strong passion to teach the youth energy, effort and focus on the basketball court, as well as in the classroom. His program role models the importance of what it means to be a student athlete.
Lucas provides weekly life coaching sessions to discuss the importance of education, having pride in your community and life skills. In the program, students are given weekly progress reports that focus on the habits of the mind. These progress reports are given to teachers to grade the player’s performance in class.
Having these tools in place, is what separates Future Academic Baller from other sports programs. Through Lucas’s leadership and dedication, the program has been successful and filling a need in the community.
Marcus Zackery, Area Director, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities
From a Principal, Community Member, Parent, and Coach
It is my honor to write this letter of recommendation for the Future Academic Ballers (FAB) program. I have known FAB. four years as a coach and a parent in the FAB program. I have known Lucas, the founder, to be very passionate, caring and a determined individual that wants to get the most of students.
FAB has demonstrated that it is more than a basketball skill development program but more so, its purpose is to develop the whole child. I have been a witness to Lucas using basketball as a vehicle to support students on and off the basketball court. The program requires students to go through life coaching sessions which support students in applying what they are learning on the court to life, school and home. Through a holistic approach it uses the terms focus, effort, and energy (FEE) as a foundation for having a common language. In addition, it is required that students turn in weekly progress reports that are evaluated by their teachers, parents, coaches and themselves as it relates to how they are performing in important areas of their lives. The progress reports are used to guide by the conversations with the coach, students and parents as patterns tend to show up over time. Parents and students both appreciate the support and often there is great progress made.
I highly recommend the FAB program for young people that are interested leadership opportunities, personal skill development and basketball skills. I have two children that are members of the FAB program and I have noticed great growth and development not only in basketball, but also academically and in their social lives.
From a FAB Parent
My son was introduced to Mpls FAB in the fall of 2013. At that time he had already developed a love for playing basketball and we were looking for a program to improve his skills. He was also beginning to fall behind in school. A program that focused on academics, life skill coaching and basketball was exactly what my son needed. Mpls FAB has taught my son to be a solid basketball player and he knows basketball is his reward for doing good in school.
School simply comes first and FAB reinforces that message. As an added bonus the coaches under this program are diverse professionals and are true role models. Now my son is meeting or exceeding expectations in school, his basketball skills have improved and he is becoming a better person all around. He loves the FAB family and works hard to not let them down.
I highly recommend Mpls FAB. Lucas Olson-Patterson has successfully built a program that is helping to cement the foundation of many young boys and young men's lives.
From a FAB Parent
My name is Darcie Kettenacker, proud parent of “FAB NATION.” My son Cayden Whitmore participated on the 10u basketball team with the Future Academic Ballers program. We transitioned to FAB from another well-developed program in the cities because of the total package FAB had to offer. Cayden’s confidence and court presences went from 2 to 10 immediately. FAB gave Cayden the drive and push to help him develop not only on the court but off the court.
In school, Cayden showed significant growth once he joined FAB. He was able to grow five reading levels in his fourth grade year. I owe this to Cayden’s hard work and the FAB reading program! To have a basketball program that implements an off the court reading program is invaluable as a parent. Cayden’s love is basketball and being on the court. However, he needed to understand that there is no basketball without a solid education and FAB was able to show this to him.
I love the accountability and responsibility that is put on these young boys. They are learning valuable life lessons as they grow together as a team family. The communication sheets between coach, parent, student athlete, and teacher helped us develop a link of communication with all the key role models in his life. This made Cayden accountable for everything that he was saying and doing in school. Allowing him to know that you have to be a scholar before you can be a basketball player.
I believe in the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” And that is definitely something that FAB understands.
After practice: “MOM! Look what we made! We were engineers in practice today and made this fan with wires and batteries!” My heart was warmed to see Cayden excited about learning. As an educator myself I could only smile and enjoy my son’s excitement about learning with his team!
FAB continues to surprise me with the dedication they place on education.
I couldn’t ask for more from my FAB family. They are helping Cayden’s dad and I develop him into a strong, confident, well rounded young man. Thank You FAB for the time and dedication that you put into each and every one of our boys!
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