PHILADELPHIA, PA (December 12, 2022) – SUREATHLETE has announced name, image and likeness “NIL” deals with collegiate and scholastic student-athletes in Philadelphia. SUREATHLETE has new agreements with Temple University sophomore point guard, Hysier Miller, currently leading Philadelphia’s Big 5 in assists and Neumann-Goretti HS junior point guard, Khaafiq Myers, who led the Saints to the Philadelphia Catholic League Championship last season.
As part of the collaboration, SUREATHLETE will provide access to the science of people analytics to select mid-Atlantic region High School basketball programs. SUREATHLETE’s unique solutions will enable select high school coaches to effectively acquire, develop, engage and assist talented players in their college recruiting. In a hyper-competitive recruiting environment, SUREATHLETE will provide Philadelphia Catholic League prospects with an edge when engaging college coaches.
“We have long admired Hysier and Khaafiq’s talent on the court and want to help them increase their Emotional, Relational and Team intelligence (ERT-i®). Delgreco Wilson from Black Cager Sports Media, identified these young men as super competitive players, outstanding students and true leaders on the court,” said Sean Flynn, CEO, SUREATHLETE. “We are excited to team up with these exceptional student athletes, serve other players in the mid-Atlantic region and look forward to rest of the college and high school basketball seasons.
“This collaboration is a natural fit and it allows us to help SUREATHLETE empower other high school student-athletes in the region to elevate their Emotional, Relational and Team intelligence.” said Hysier Miller. “The SUREATHLETE team gave us the ability to create a deal that benefits other student-athletes in the Catholic League and beyond. That’s real… the Catholic League that gave us an opportunity to play at highest level. Knowing that we helped other high school players and programs have access to the industry’s most powerful psychometric and personal development tool is amazing.”
The SUREATHLETE platform was developed for professional, collegiate and Olympic sports organizations. This collaboration with two South Philly point guards will allow select mid-Atlantic high school programs to join Hysier and Khaafiq in benefiting from the science of Prism psychometrics, anonymous survey feedback and behavioral analytics.
SUREATHLETE, a division of the SUREPEOPLE Corporation, headquartered in Rosemont, IL, synthesizes three critical data sets – who people are, how people think/feel and how people behave/perform – to derive predictive insights and deliver prescriptive actions for every leader, team and mission-critical player and coach in your program. SUREATHLETE utilizes Prism Psychometrics to understand how each player and coach in your program is uniquely wired by measuring 54 key traits and attributes across Personality & Personality Under Pressure; Processing; Decision Making; Motivation; Conflict Management; and, Fundamental Needs. Prism provides talent with the richest, most nuanced psychometric portrait for increasing self-awareness, understanding strengths & blind spots and guiding personal & professional growth.
Shon Minnis is my guy… Now… Shon was a damn good player in his own right back in the day. He was a starting guard for Southern’s 1988 and 1989 Public League semifinalists. He is what you would call a basketball lifer… He is most likely to be found in a high school gym on any given day sitting quietly in the corner observing and assessing the quality of play and the talent level of the players.
I met Shon about 12 years ago. His son, Deshon “Biggie” Minnis was one to the top prospects in the region, but he was having some eligibility issues. Several knowledgeable people told Shon that Biggie was an academic “non-qualifier” at the NCAA Division 1 level. They even suggested that Biggie and Shon consider the D2 or even the JUCO route. Shon came to my office seeking advice on becoming eligible. We combed over Biggie’s transcripts and SAT scores with a fine tooth comb.
“I see why they think he’s a non-qualifier Shon,” I said. “He’s below the threshold right now.”
But, the window was still cracked. I explained to Shon that it was “possible” to meet the the D1 eligibility criteria. Biggie would have to cross every “t”, dot every “I” and walk around about 87 mulberry bushes. If he jumped over the river and wrestled 11 alligators we “could” make it.
No one else had even held out the possibility of getting it done. Shon was visibly excited.
I explained that Shon and Biggie’s Mom, Chandra Myers, would have to make sure he stayed focused and stuck to the plan. “FUCK ALL THAT SHIT everyone else is telling you… Stick with the plan and MAYBE we can get there.”
Fast forward a few months, Biggie made it and accepted a full ride to attend and play at Texas Tech University for Billy Gillespie late in the Spring of 2011.
I’ve talked to Shon damn near everyday since. Like I said, Shon is my guy…
Over the past decade, we’ve traversed the I-95 corridor countless times in search of good basketball games. Shon is always ready to ride out.
About 3 years ago, he told me he was getting involved in grassroots basketball in South Philadelphia. He wanted to help South Philly kids learn to play the game the “right” way. He was focused on middle school kids.
Around that time, he started to talk about his prodigy, “Flash.” His government name is Aasim Burton, but everyone calls the boy Flash.
Shon was sold early, “Del… I got one… I’m telling you, Flash is gonna be good… rally good.”
I’ve heard this from 12,386 middle school coaches. They all think their kid is gonna go D1. But Shon is different.
He kept saying things like, “I’m gonna make him a mid-range killer… We not dribbling around a bunch of cones… We playing basketball. Flash plays the right way. He doesn’t turn it over… he makes the right pass… He’s unselfish.”
I don’t get out to see much middle school basketball. In fact, I don’t see any… So all I had to go by was Shon’s pronouncements.
Eventually, Flash enrolled at Math, Civics & Sciences Charter School where he played in one of the finest Public League programs for Head Coach Lonnie Diggs. Flash was a good role player during his two year stint with the Mighty Elephants.
But, the lure of the Catholic League was strong, both academically and athletically. First and foremost, Flash is an outstanding student and his mother and Shon wanted to place him in a more rigorous and competitive academic setting. Of equal importance was an opportunity to “get to the Palestra” for the Philadelphia Catholic League Final Four.
This has become the Holy Grail for many high school ballers in the the Greater Philadelphia region.
Shon did his research… He and Flash narrowed their target destinations down to 3 or 4 schools. Shon had seen all of the school play on multiple occasions. He knew what the basketball was like in each program.
But he didn’t know the people and he didn’t have a firm grasp of the academic offerings at the schools. He asked if I knew the coaches and the principals at these schools.
I asked if Flash and his Mom were sure they wanted to leave MCS. Shon and Flash assured me that they were “out” and told me they had informed Coach Diggs of their decision.
I introduced Shon and Flash to principals and coaches at several schools. Eventually, Flash and his Mom chose O’Hara.
My decision to assist Shon and the family with researching his school options led to the end of what had been a very good relationship with the MCS basketball program. I had worked with MCS alums Jeremiah “Lump” Worthem, Mike Watkins and Samir Doughty… each ended up eligible to accept a scholarship and played Division 1 basketball… It was all good…
Until it wasn’t…
Flash decided to transfer and Shon is my guy…
Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield, Delaware County is Flash’s new home. The boy from the “P” plays in da county these days.
The transfer behind him, all summer Shon was talking heavy… “We goin’ to the Palestra.”
“Easy… Easy… Shon.”
Alas, Shon was not trying to hear my suggestion that he temper his expectations.
“We goin’ to the Palestra!”
On Friday, O’Hara was scheduled to travel to Reading for a HUGE road game against perennial Berks County power Reading High. I’m on a 3-way call with Shon and Rider Assistant Coach Geoff Arnold. I tell Shon to be prepared to watch a tough game. I explained that Reading is damn near impossible to beat in Reading.
Shon wasn’t trying to hear that shit…
“We gonna kick their ass…”
Mannnn listen… I wanted to go that that game. But I was scheduled to cover the Neumann-Goretti/Constitution game and I wouldn’t be able to make it.
I told Shon, I thought Reading would win the game because their press defense would force a lot of turnovers. I’ve seen Reading do that to so many good teams in recent years.
“Flash doesn’t turn the ball over Del…”
“I’ll bet you $10 that they turn Flash over at least 3 times.”
“Let’s bet $20…”
“Naaaah… I’m not a gambler but I’ll bet the $10.”
Low and behold, a few minutes after making the wager, Pat Sorrentino, a Nuemann-Goretti Assistant informs me that the Constitution game has been postponed. The Saints were playing for state Championship in football and the whole school planned on going to support the squad.
I hang up from Pat and immediately call Shon, “What time you leaving? I’m riding out with you”
“5:30… Meet me at 23rd and Federal… down the P.”
Traffic is fucked up… We arrive at the massive Geigle Complex just before the tip off.
I scramble to set up my camera.
First play of the game… Flash had the ball out top… dribbled toward the baseline stopped took a step back and elevated for one of his trademark mid-range jump shots…
SPLASH! All net…
Flash made sure to let the Reading faithful seated along the baseline know that it was going to be a long night. He was talking major shit…
O’Hara came out and led with a series of right crosses. Reading, clearly, was expecting O’Hara to feel them out early with jabs. They were not ready. Right hooks and crushing body blows delivered by Flash and his running mate Izaiah Pasha ’23 (Iona commit) left Reading dazed and confused.
Like Mike Tyson jumping on a defenseless Mike Spinks, O’Hara jumped out to an early double-digit lead. Before you knew it the score was 9-2 and by the end of the first, the Lions led 23-12.
It was more of the same as the bell rung for the 2nd quarter, Flash kept the pressure on. Flash and Pasha were bussing Reading’s ass. In front of about 2,000 stunned Reading supporters. They combined for 22 of O’Hara’s 41 first-half points.
Never having ventured to Reading for a game before, Shon felt comfortable. He should have… O’Hara was having it their way.
Until they weren’t…
It’s hard to explain to Philadelphia hoopheads. These Reading muthafuckas just don’t know how to quit… It’s just not in ‘em.
They are gonna keep coming and coming.
Two years ago, the Reading knocked off Catholic League Champion Archbishop Wood in the State Championship game. Last year, they knocked off nationally ranked Imhotep in a highly entertaining contest.
This year? Down 19 at home to O’Hara? No problem…
Led by senior guard, Myles Grey’s 20 points, the Knights demonstrated their ability to engage in a relentless form of persistence hunting. Coach Perez’s boys stalked and chased O’Hara until they could no longer flee and succumbed to what seemed like an inevitable defeat.
While O’ Hara came up short in this battle, Flash played well in front of coaches from 2 MAAC programs. Rider Assistant, Dino Pressley and Fairfield Assistant, James Johns were there evaluating Shon’s prodigy.
The very next day, Fairfield offered Flash a scholarship. This served to brighten and otherwise disappointing night.
On the way home, we stopped at Appleby’s to grab a bite to eat. However, it was too crowded at the wait was over 30 minutes. We left and decided to just grab something from WaWa.
I ordered a Chicken Fajita Panini, grabbed a bag of chips and a Mango Iced Tea. When I got to the register, Shon boxed me out and paid for my meal.
I am a fan of Big 5 basketball. Subconsciously, I approach every matchup looking for streamers to rain from heavens after the first made basket for each team. For young readers unfamiliar with the tradition, once upon a time, during Big 5 games after each team’s first made basket, fans would throw streamers of their team’s colors onto the playing surface.
The NCAA banned this traditional practice in 1985. Ostensibly, because they thought it was dangerous. I actually think they banned it because they couldn’t figure out a way to monetize it.
The NCAA can always be counted on to do some nut shit…
For 67 years, Philadelphia’s Big 5 — LaSalle, Pennsylvania, St. Joseph’s, Temple and Villanova — have waged a unique Philly college basketball round robin. Nowhere else in America will you find five Division 1 basketball programs in on metropolitan area competing so intensely for a “made up” title. The Big 5 is not a league or conference. Winning the Big 5 doesn’t lead to an NCAA appearance… It doesn’t improve your national rankings.
For nearly 7 decades, the reward has been the winners ability to talk shit to the losers for the next 12 months… In other words, it meant a lot!
Like so many things from my childhood era, the Big 5 is different these days. They don’t play all the games at the Palestra on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. The programs have abandoned college basketball’s cathedral in favor of campus arenas… Better chance to win at home.
On Tuesday, yet another interesting and dare I say it… BIG… Big 5 matchup will take place at the Liacouras on North Broad Street.
Why? Why, one might ask would you categorize this as a BIG game? After all, both programs are several years removed from national prominence.
The game is BIG because somethings gotta give… To varying degrees, Aaron McKie and Billy Lange are lurching toward the point where they have to shit or get off the toilet.
McKie is now in his 4th season after taking the reigns from one of his mentors, Fran Dunphy. His record, 41-44 (.482) overall and 20-29 (.408) in the AAC, has been lackluster by Temple standards. Two Temple coaches, Harry Litwack and John Chaney, are in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Temple currently sits 5th in all-time victories trailing only certified blue bloods Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and Duke. Viewed from a historical perspective, McKie is off to a rather inauspicious beginning.
Nonetheless, there has been steady improvement in the Owl program under McKie. He has finished 10th, t-8th and 4th the past three seasons… Gotta keep moving up… He has some talented young players in the fold. The Owls have also demonstrated a willingness to fight for some of the top talent in the Greater Philadelphia region. Hysier Miller is from South Philly. Zach Hicks is from Camden. Jalil White and Taj Thweatt played for Wildwood Catholic. Khalif Battle is a Trenton native. McKie and his staff are beating the local bushes. West Catholic’s Zion Stanford joins the fold next season.
Lange is also in his 4th season leading the Hawks. He succeeded Phil Martelli who coached at St. Joseph’s for 24 seasons. Lange’s record, 25-64 (.284) overall and 10-38 (.208) in the A10 has been atrocious. Hawk faithful had become accustomed to, more or less, regular post-season appearances. Martelli led Saint Joseph’s to seven NCAA Tournaments and 6 NIT (13 total post-season) appearances in 24 seasons as head coach.
Up to this point, Lange has made very zero progress toward returning the Hawks to contention for post-season tournament appearances. St. Joseph’s has finished t-13th, 13th and t-12th past three seasons. Like McKie, Lange has had some success in local recruiting. Neumman-Goretti’s Jordan Hall has moved onto the NBA after just 2 seasons on Hawk Hill. Roman Catholic alum Lynn Greer III has taken over the point guard position. Camden High graduate Rasheer Fleming is one of the more intriguing freshman in the mid-Atlantic region. Substitute guard, Quin Berger played scholastically at Westtown.
Lange also successfully recruited Philadelphia natives, Rahmir Moore, Chereef Knox and Dahmir Bishop each of whom has transferred to other programs. Next year, three more highly regarded Philly prospects are scheduled to arrive at 54th and City Ave. as Shawn Simmons, Anthony Finkley and Xzayvier Brown begin their collegiate careers.
Both teams need a win in the worst way.
Tuesday’s contest is a rubber match for Lange and McKie. In their first meeting on December 10, 2019 at the Liacouras Center, McKie’s Owls literally beat the shit down the legs of the Hawks by 47 points (108-61). It was one of the most lopsided Big 5 games I have ever witnessed over the past 40 years.
Hard dunk after strong dunk after powerful dunk… As Buddy Ryan would say, The Hawks “lifted their skirts” early…
With Covid-19 wreaking havoc on schedules, they Owls and the Hawks would not play each other in 2020.
Lange would exact revenge on December 11. 2021 in the cozy confines of Hagan Arena. Jordan Hall, 26 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals put on a magnificent performance as the Hawks smacked the shit out of the Owls by a final score of 68-49.
The McKie-Lange scorecard stands at 1-1.
So what should we expect on Tuesday? St. Joseph’s is gonna rely heavily on Erik Reynolds, II to generate some offense. I would anticipate Temple’s defensive stopper, Jalil White, to be nose to nose with Reynolds for much of the evening. White is a strong, long, athletic wing with exceptional lateral quickness. For this years Temple squad, he basically has one job… Stop the best muthafucka on the other team from scoring. White does it rather well.
Lynn Greer III has provided a steady hand at the point guard spot for the Hawks. He is a big, strong point guard with solid ball-handling and passing skills. In this, his first real season of collegiate competition he has struggled mightily with his shooting. He is shooting just 36.4 from the floor and a paltry 13.3% from behind the 3-point line. He also needs to cut down on the turnovers. Greer had 6 last game and is averaging over 4 per contest. He will square off against another Catholic League point guard. Hysier Miller is a throwback pass-first point guard for the Owls. Still finding his way, Miller has a stranglehold on the point guard spot for the Owls. While scoring over 7 ppg, he is dishing 4.8 apg while limiting his turnovers to just 2.1 per game.
Temple’s dynamic scoring duo of Battle and Damian Dunn contribute anywhere from 35 to 45 points almost every game. They will be a tough matchup for Cam Brown and Reynolds on the defensive end of the floor. Kacper Klaczek and Rasheer Fleming will have to chase Temple marksman Zach Hicks off screens all night. Hicks has shown hat he is capable of hitting 3’s in bunches.
Transfer center Jamile Reynolds has been very good at times for the Owls. He has provided them with a legitimate low-post offensive presence as well as solid rebounding. St. Joseph’s center Ejike Obinna, on the other hand, has struggled and his production is down considerably across the board when compared to last that of last season.
So who wins?
Well… I don’t foresee another blowout either way. St. Joseph’s should be motivated coming off a dreadful 17 point loss in a buy game to visiting Fairleigh Dickinson. Temple bounced back from an opening night loss to Wagner in a buy game to knock off Villanova. Can the Hawks duplicate such a feat? Naaaaah… Temple’s will try mightily to limit Reynolds’ offensive production. I just don’t think the Hawks have enough firepower to win at Liacouras this year.
Parental rights and prerogatives have long been recognized in American courts. Parental rights in making important decisions in the following three areas are recognized in every jurisdiction:
Religious upbringing is often a sensitive topic within families and can lead to disagreements between parents and other family members. In some cases, a parent may be concerned about religious practices and their potential influence on their child. Imagine a Christian, Jewish or Muslim family having to answer to a principal, coach or athletic director about a decision to change churches, mosques or synagogue?
Makes no sense…
Ongoing medical care child is an essential element of parenting. State and federal laws are in place to ensure that parents provide adequate healthcare coverage for their children. Imagine a family having to seek permission from a principal, coach or athletic director for a broken bone, surgery or cancer treatment?
Makes no sense…
A major component of parenting involves decisions related to education including the location of the child’s schooling and education related expenses. Details related to a child’s extracurricular activities are also an important aspect of parenting. Imagine a family having to seek permission from a principal, coach or athletic director at his old school to transfer to another school and play football, basketball, softball or tennis.
Also, makes no fuckin sense… But…
That is exactly how the system is currently structured.
It’s as if your ex-girlfriend had veto power over who you could and could not date after you broke up. Or, your old boss could determine where you could work after you were no longer employed by the company.
Principals, coaches and athletic directors are BLOCKING kids from participating in varsity athletic with increasing frequency. In many of these cases, sports is one of the main factors keeping the kids engaged with educational institutions. This is especially the case for many young Black male student-athletes.
The struggle in the Black community is real. Recent studies indicate that 45% of Black students attended high-poverty schools, compared with 8% of white students. More than 64% of Black students have parents whose education level is less than high school. About 45% live in mother-only households. Another 35% live in father-only households.
It’s no secret that Black males between the ages of 12-25 are fueling incredible levels of violent criminal activity seen in American cities. Why would any “educator” purposely place barriers between young people and opportunities to participate in scholastic sports?
Wouldn’t you rather watch a young man run the 100 meter hurdles than witness him unloading 40-60 high caliber shells into other young men?
Wouldn’t you rather watch a young man dunk on somebody than witness him dragging someone’s grandmother out of her car at gunpoint?
I attended one PIAA eligibility hearing where after being denied an opportunity to play his senior year, a young man jumped on the table and attempted assault the coaches and athletic director that BLOCKED him from playing. I had to sit with the young man and attempt to calm him down… The anger and frustration was boiling over… Understandable, to say the least.
So… How exactly does this work? What are the tools that adults are using to douse the athletic and educational flames raging within these young people?
Let’s walk through the process… Below is page 1 of the PIAA Athletic Waiver Request Form. As you can see, page 1 collects basic demographic information and sports participation history beginning in the 7th grade.
Things get much more interesting on page 2 below. As you can see, the principal is given an a choice to “complete and sign EITHER A or B.” If the principal completes and signs A, the kid is good to go. The principal is “releasing” the kid. This is the action one would expect a career educator to take. After all, the principal is entrusted with administering a facility designed to educate and inspire young people.
The reality of the situation, unfortunately, is that principals completing and signing part B with alarming frequency.
The language is very clear, “I hereby request that the District Committee having jurisdiction over my school review the circumstances of Transfer to assess whether the Transfer was motivated in some material way by an athletic purpose and/or was the result of recruiting, which was materially motivated in some way by an athletic purpose.”
The principal at the behest of the coach and/or athletic director, at this point, has decided to BLOCK a kid from playing scholastic sports for a year. It’s NOT the District, it’s NOT the system, it’s NOT some anonymous complaint… The ONLY way a kid is BLOCKED is by the principal at the behest of the coach and/or athletic director.
This is how it works…
Maybe a coach spent a lot of extra time working with the kid in the summer or after practice. The coach feels that he has invested time and energy in the kid and now he wants to prevent another school from benefiting from his efforts. The coach feels justified in saying if you don’t play for me, you won’t play anywhere this season.
Maybe the coach at the new school never contacted the coach at the old school about the transfer. Maybe the coach feels disrespected. In a perfect world, a coach would reach out to another coach if one of his kids pops up in his gym or workout talking about transferring. That is a professional courtesy that many coaches extend. But some don’t… Should the kid have to sit a full season because a coach failed to call another coach? Naaaah… that consequence ‘s way too harsh.
Pages 3 and 4 are where the principals, coaches and athletic directors have to provide “evidence” to support their desire to prevent the kid from playing.
Fully aware that the parents have decided to transfer the kid, this is where principals, coaches and athletic directors insert “proof” that the parents are lying. This is where they tell the state to completely disregard whatever reasons the parents provided.
Family moved? School climate unsafe? Poor academics?
“Fuck all that shit… Dey lyin'”
They transferred him for athletic reasons and here is the dossier supporting are request to BLOCK the kid.
Imagine having to present this to your pastor, imam or rabbi before joining prayer?
Imagine having to present this to your pediatrician, oncologist or dentist before receiving medical treatment?
For me, it’s really very simple “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Somewhere along the line, the logic underlying Luke 6:31 has been replaced by JBM 1:1…