Biloxi High School today recognized 24 student athletes for classroom and field accomplishment and became the first school in Mississippi to participate in the Scholar Baller academic/athletic program.
The Biloxi High School football players were honored for earning a classroom average of at least 85, and will display a Scholar Baller patch on their game uniforms. To see the list of players, click here. To see photographs from the ceremony today, click here.
The mission of the Scholar Baller program is to inspire athletes to excel in education and in life as well as on the athletic field, according to Biloxi High School Head Football Coach John Shannon.
“We feel that if we combine education with sports, young people will want to live up to and perform up to the standards and goals that you set for them," Shannon said. "We believe that a lifestyle that incorporates educational rewards will motivate today’s student athletes.”
So far, Shannon said, more than 45 colleges have joined the the Scholar Baller program. Participating institutions include Arizona State, Penn State, Georgia Tech, Northern Illinois University, Fordham University and Grand Valley State. High schools and junior colleges from across the country are participating in the Scholar Baller Program.
As part of the program, participating institutions incorporate the Scholar Baller curriculum and the incentive structure. The Scholar Baller curriculum is based on identity, competitive spirit, purpose, vision, mission, goal setting, decision making and educational advancement.
"We’re trying to dig deeper than the cultural messages that society has provided," Shannon said. "We’re teaching critical life skills. The goals of the project center around trying to increase the academic success of student-athletes."
Teams with student-athletes who have earned the honor of wearing the patch have been seen on a various national networks such as ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports, ABC and CSTV as well as local networks.
Said Shannon: "The program represents a wide range of diversity of student-athletes, all of whom demonstrate a strong academic identity along with athletic talent."
---To see the list of players, click here.
---To see photographs from the ceremony today, click here.