The Zero Gravity Program Profile series takes a stop in Newark, DE, where we meet with Jason Young, program director of Achieve More Basketball. Starting only a few years ago in 2015, Jason and Achieve More started with only one team, but have quickly grown to having eight teams in their program. Jason says the biggest difference from Year 1 and now is their ability to form teams. He said when they first started, he would be going to 3 games a day looking at kids he’d want to get to play in his program. Now, if he hosts a tryout, he’ll have hundred of interested kids show up who want to play for him.
Jason says that Achieve more excels at developing young men and preparing for life after basketball. He says that one day the ball will stop bouncing for everyone, and he wants to be able to prepare the kids who go through his program for the roles outside of being a basketball player. Jason says he wants to elevate the program to the next level and getting onto a shoe circuit is the goal for the program right now and their path to taking the next step. He also wants to produce kids that get recruited by major collegiate programs. Jason says he has kids in the program right now who have this potential, and he wants to help them reach that potential.
When you go to a tournament with Achieve More, you know it. Jason says that is one of the differentiators between Achieve More and other programs. When they travel to tournaments, he brings all 10 teams, not just two or three. He’ll have close to 200 people traveling with Achieve More on a given weekend. They will have a packed crowd, at every game for every team playing on a given weekend. This doesn’t just happen locally either, as they’ve played in events all over the country.
In the next two years, Jason expects the growth to continue and the Achieve More brand to continue to get stronger. He says that they’ve added some teams in the West Chester, PA and Philadelphia areas, so he sees these kinds of moves happening in other areas as well. The key to this growth is how the set and complete goals for not only the program, but for the kids and parents as well. Before each season, they give their parents the schedule for the year so they can plan for the season. They also help the kids in their program succeed in the classroom, offering tutoring, community service, SAT prep, and mentoring opportunities.
Jason said his favorite part of being the director of Achieve More is showing the kids places they have never been before. Also, getting to show them that basketball is so much bigger than just the small area that they see every day. Millions of kids are playing and competing just like his kids, and he wants them to have fun and enjoy their experience on the weekends. Jason has also been able to help effect his community in a positive way. Achieve More does several community services projects to help better their community. They have helped clean a non-profit center, they’ve sponsored less fortunate family during the holidays, and they give out school supplies to the community. Jason said that he brings in people to talk to his players throughout the season. He hopes that between these people, himself, and his coaches, they do a good job of providing the kids in their program someone who they can look to for guidance.
Looking towards the 2020 Zero Gravity season, Jason said he can’t wait for Zero Gravity National Finals, as it gives their teams the opportunity to play some of the best teams from across the country. As we move towards the spring season, we couldn’t be more excited to start back up and have Achieve More with us again. Be sure to follow Achieve More on all their social media accounts to keep up with them this ZG season!!