“I play basketball at Garfield High School and I was wondering what I have to do be prepared for basketball at the next level – college?,” asked mentee, Mike Thompson of Coach Keith Dambrot. Thompson, a junior at Garfield High School, along with two other mentees, Brandon Brown and Rayshawn Craig, attended the University of Akron Men’s Basketball 2016-2016 postseason celebration held Saturday, April 9, 2016, at Prime93 in Manchester. In response to the question, Dambrot said that the collegiate basketball is tough because it’s a longer season and requires that a player give more on the court and in the classroom. He said the grind can be a big adjustment. Evidently, most of his players have adjusted well because the team finished with a 26-9 record including being undefeated at home. The season ended with an OT loss in the NIT to the Ohio State Buckeyes.
All three mentees have attended Akron U games and were familiar with several of the players. Mike and Brandon were especially excited to meet their favorite players. Mike met and took a pic with Kwan Cheatham and Brad met and took a pic with his “twin” Antonin Jackson. The players soaked up the attention and took a few minutes to talk with our young men. Even though the guys had a hard time eating “banquet” type food (they did get second helpings lol), they enjoyed the night.
SAYM continues to support the vision of our mentees attending college and using education as a means to being successful in life. Attending the event proved very important to Mike and Brandon because it allowed them to see young men, who were once just like them, playing high school basketball with the dream of using it to get a college education.