Rashann London and Larenz Thurmon are very good high school scholar-athletes. Indeed, they are currently leading their respective teams, Roman Catholic HS and Philadelphia Electrical & Technical HS on quests for Pennsylvania state championships. While these young men are both gifted athletes with highly refined basketball skills that will serve them well at the collegiate level, it should be acknowledged that they both have an advantage over many other local hoopsters.
Rashann and Larenz have the “Daddy” advantage. Both of these young men have loving, caring, concerned and committed fathers in their lives. Their fathers serve as their confidants and their biggest supporters. Throughout the Fall, Nate London and Wil Thurmon made sure their sons would appear at my door every Saturday morning to prepare for the SAT and ACT exams. Each week, we would go over countless sample tests and review each problem individually.
The aim was to increase the options available to Rashann and Larenz. Both of these young men had excellent grades and solid SAT scores. Rashann was already committed to Drexel University. However, he realized that Drexel offers over 70 undergraduate majors and more than a dozen accelerated degree programs across 13 different colleges and schools. Rashann wanted to make sure he was qualified for admission to any of the programs. The aim wasn’t to just meet NCAA eligibility standards. That was a foregone conclusion. Rather, it was to get a score that was commensurate with his abilities.
Larenz had already proven he was more than a capable student. He spent three years attending the prestigious and highly competitive Wilmington Friends School in Delaware. After moving in with his grandmother, he transferred into Philadelphia Public League basketball powerhouse, PET HS. His main concern was increasing his options. Like Rashann, meeting NCAA eligibility requirements was not a concern. The goals was obtaining an SAT/ACT score that would increase the range of colleges that could accept him.
After weeks of diligent and intensely focused study, both of the young men met their goals. Looking back, I came to the realization that a huge part of the reason they were successful was the “Daddy” advantage that each possessed. I spent many hours with Nate and Wil discussing their son’s study habits, tendencies, options and strategies they could use to improve their academic profile for college admissions officers. These gentlemen would take the information, apply it and routinely report back their assessment of their son’s progress.
It was truly a pleasure working with these young men and the fathers. As I implement the Assist Project, I look forward to working with guys like Mo Howard (Ashley and Ky Howard), Shep Garner, Sr. (Shep Garner, Jr.), Larry Galloway (Langston Galloway), Shon Minnis (Biggie Minnis), Anthony Durham, Sr. (Anthony Durham, Jr.), Pervis Ellison (Malik Ellison), Stephen Ward (Carrington Ward), Kevin Givens (Samme and Shannon Givens) and Curt Reed (Jordan Reed), Ronald Robert, Sr. (Ronald Roberts, Jr.) and Carl Baptiste, Sr. (Carl Baptise, Jr.). All of their sons are excelling on and off the court. There can be little doubt that much of that success is attributable to the “Daddy” advantage.
The ASSIST PROJECT is a non-profit program sponsored by the Alpha Scholarship Fund a 503 (c)3 organization based in Camden, NJ and Philadelphia, PA. Participation is FREE to all student-athletes. There is NO COST to students and their families.