MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A Mobile native is giving back in a big way! Giving young athletes across the Gulf Coast a shot at a brighter future.
With support from Under Armour, Reggie Wilcox founded Elite Academy, an AAU Basketball program.
“Making it out of some of these high schools in Irvington, Grand Bay, it’s tough!” said Norwood Cain.
“For our area, basketball is pretty much an afterthought. This is football country,” said Quincy James, Director of Elite Academy Gulf Coast.
It’s a dream come true for those aspiring to play basketball here on the gulf coast.
“We never ever had an AAU program on a national level to come to the city of Mobile. When I was younger, we just heard about it. We heard about the Atlanta Celtics and those types of programs,” said Reggie Wilcox, Founder of Elite Academy Ducks.
And for parents willing to do whatever it takes to see their child’s dreams come true, that was a weekly commute out of state they were willing to take.
“If they want to focus on one sport they need to play that almost year-round,” said Mike Coley.
But last January, Wilcox, former McGill-Toolen basketball star reconnected with James to bring an AAU program to his home town. A program already gaining much success with his teams in other cities like Dallas, Oklahoma City, and other major cities.
“He was giving kids that opportunity in Dallas and Oklahoma City, but a lot of those opportunities. So bringing it back here meant so much to him because the kids here just don’t get that opportunity,” James said.
Although James is helping young players develop the skills needed to advance in the sport, he’s also providing kids with life long tools to help them beyond that winning shot.
“What are the odds of a kid going pro, it’s probably less than 1%. If that’s the case and we’re only giving them basketball then I think we’re setting them up for failure,” James said.
The Elite Academy Ducks are in seven cities: Dallas, Oklahoma City, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, the Gulf Coast, and California in the coming months.