Returning for its 18th year, the Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) Basketball Academy is the largest and most successful program of its kind—immersing high school athletes in academics, financial literacy, rites of passage, gang awareness, bullying prevention and competitive basketball games.
Over the years, the Academy has awarded over $105,000 in scholarships and has prepared Maryland NBA stand-outs Will Barton, Rudy Gay and Gary Neal, among others. In 2014, the Basketball Academy will reinforce its motto, “Academics + Athletics equals a Win/Win Combination,” while adding additional elements to the program, including an essay contest, $10,000 3-Point Shoot-Off and competitive matches that expose the city’s most talented youth to each other and the broader community. Tickets to the Academy cost $10 per day. Children under five years old are admitted free. Advanced tickets can be purchased at participating schools or by calling 410-396-8569.
Each year, the Academy enhances its academic offering to stay current with today’s popular culture and situations student athletes face. Additions this year include a day-long SAT prep course at Dunbar High School with longtime partner John Swann of Dayton, Ohio.
Academic Coordinator Dr. Warren Hayman is enthusiastic about new elements to this year’s Basketball Academy, “In addition to SAT Prep, we are introducing an essay contest, Bring your Brain to the Game, where each team will select a student to discuss and then write an essay about how to connect academics to athletics, with the best essay writer winning a $250 award. We also will have cyber and in-person bullying training and a course on social media best practices.”