Photo 1: Up2Us Executive Director Paul Caccamo, Coach of the Year Honoree Renato Paiva of San Diego, CA, Coach of the Year Honoree Faye Stevens-Jett of Chicago, IL, Skateboarding Legend and Laureus World Sports Academy Member Tony Hawk, Coach of the Year Honoree Lisa Hawk of San Diego, CA, and Coach of the Year Honoree Ktrice McNeill of the Bronx, NY
On October 5, 2011, Ktrice McNeill of the Bronx was honored at the Up2Us Coach of the Year Ceremony and Reception, held at the Longworth House Office Building in Washington D.C., during the Up2Us annual National Summit: Think Globally, Play Locally. McNeill received the 2011 Coach Across America Coach of the Year award and was one of four outstanding coaches from across the country honored. In addition to McNeill, Lisa Hawk and Renato Paiva of San Diego, CA and Faye Stevens-Jett ofChicago, IL were also recognized. Honorees were chosen for the meaningful roles they play in the lives of the young athletes they serve.
Ktrice McNeill recently completed his year of service coaching basketball at Edenwald Community Center in New York. “When I started coaching, I had kids ask me to be their dad or their brother,” said McNeill. “I told them I can’t be your dad but I can be your role model. All the kids I coach know that they can call me anytime they need me.”
A Bronx, NY native, McNeill was influenced by his parents who reminded him daily that "without education you have nothing." Growing up in an inner-city where gang violence and drugs were prevalent, he understands first-hand the impact of sports. McNeill played basketball throughout middle school and high school, which gave him discipline and confidence. He graduated from Fashion Institute of Technology with his associate's degree in marketing. He received a basketball scholarship to Southern Connecticut State University for two years, and had an opportunity to play overseas in Italy. As a coach, he aims to use his voice to teach young people that "failure is not an option."
The Up2Us National Summit brought together youth sports leaders from around the country to change the way that people think about the power of sports to positively impact youth. Skateboard legend and Laureus World Sports Academy Member Tony Hawk served as the keynote speaker for the Coach of the Year Ceremony and Reception.
“Laureus’ mission is to harness the power of sport to promote social change,” said Hawk. “Youth sports budget cuts are occurring at an alarming rate and will have a significant impact on the development of this generation. We fully support Up2Us in order to heighten awareness of this important issue.”
The Up2Us National Summit 2011 sponsors included Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and The George Washington University. The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation celebrates the universal power of sport to bring people together as a force for good and uses the passion that sport inspires to effect social change across the globe.
Up2Us is a national nonprofit coalition leading the movement to advance sports as a vehicle to address critical issues facing youth, including childhood obesity, academic failure and anti-social behavior. Up2Us supports a national network of close to 500 member organizations in all 50 states. These organizations serve 20 million youth through traditional and non-traditional sports. Members share best practices, advance initiatives that extend opportunities to new players, and deliver quality programs in underserved communities where there is a tremendous need for constructive outlets for youth. For more information, log on to up2us.org.
Laureus (http://www.laureus.com/) comprises the Laureus World Sports Academy, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and the Laureus World Sports Awards. Collectively, these three elements form the essence of Laureus, harnessing the power of sport to promote social change and celebrating sporting excellence. Laureus celebrates the universal power of sport to bring people together as a force for good, passionately embodying the very spirit of sport – the pursuit of excellence, overcoming challenges, celebrating achievement and excellence, and winning against the odds.