The 7 Year Milestone: Celebrating the Anniversary of the ScholarBaller® Patch Contributors: Lindsey Mauro and the SB Team September 1, 2011
September 1, 2011 will mark the 7th year anniversary for the introduction of the Scholar Baller® (SB) Patch in a Division I athletic contest to acknowledge student‐athletes success in the classroom. While the VIP list of invitees and supporters of SB included Dr. Myles Brand, Dr. Bernard Franklin (was actually present), and cultural entrepreneur Russell Simmons, all contributed with written letters and other stamps of approval. What made this night so unique? This was the first team to have its athletic uniform in the history of intercollegiate athletics to have the ThinkMan® patch worn by Arizona State University (ASU) student‐athletes in a football game versus University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). At this inaugural game, 29 student‐athletes donned the logo signifying their academic achievements of receiving a 3.0 or higher the previous academic year. ASU beat UTEP 41‐9, but the scoreboard did not depict the real victory that day. By the 2004‐2005 academic year ASU had an all time high of 41 student‐ athletes to earn this Scholar Baller® recognition. Since 2004, Scholar Baller® has worked with over 50 NCAA institutions, 40 community colleges, and 15 high schools to help bring education to the forefront of sports and entertainment. Jean Boyd, Sr. Associate Athletic Director and Co‐ Founder of Scholar Baller®, describes his early experience with the organization. “When we introduced the concept of the Scholar Baller® Paradigm to the ASU Football student‐athletes in 2001, there was an immediate energy associated with “ballin” out in school. From 2001 forward we saw every measurable academic statistic improve with our
football program culminating in over 50 Scholar Ballers® after the 2005‐06 academic year. The highlight though was first having Coach Dirk Koetter agree to allow us to put the patch on the jersey, and then seeing history made when 29 players wore them in competition in the 2004 ASU versus UTEP game.” This day also marked a huge milestone for Scholar Baller® Co‐Founder, Dr. C. Keith Harrison. “To collaborate with my colleague, mentee and best friend Jean Boyd in making history in terms of becoming the first ever academic recognition patch worn on NCAA athletic team apparel and during an athletic contest, is a dream come true. The fact that we bridged theory and practice with the cultural identity challenges of today’s student‐athlete took some much resilience and courage.” Dr. Harrison, President and C.E.O. Scholar Baller® has seen the organization’s movement evolve over the past 7 years. The SB team looks forward to future years in which they will continue to inspire student‐athletes by redefining what is cool in the sports, entertainment and society. To stay connected with Scholar Baller® follow us on Twitter @ScholarBaller and on Facebook at ScholarBaller. Visit our website at scholarballer.com for more information on how to partner with SB.