After the Bell: Life After Whistles

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by CHRIS FLANAGAN

WFAA

Posted on June 28, 2010 at 10:35 AM

Updated Monday, Jun 28 at 4:18 PM

DALLAS - While most kids aren't thinking about school right now, one group of young athletes are hitting the books before they can hit the court, and the program is scoring some big points.

In order to play on the basketball court, the Duncanville students have to put in the time in the classroom. 

"Some people think it's summer and we don't have to do school work and we don't have to study," said Jalen Stovall, 10. "We're studying and we're going to be one step closer, one step ahead of them."

Stovall, along with the hundreds of children that play ball at Bob Knight's Field House in Duncanville get a free hour per week of academic help inside the Life After Whistles Student Center.  Rob Howe runs the non-profit program and says the legendary former college basketball coach required an academic center be part of the facility. 

"We've even had whole teams that come together and study together and compete on the quizzes together," said the executive director. "So, it builds camaraderie. It builds a real sense of achievement."

The mission of Life After Whistles is to provide every athlete, no matter what size or skill level, the help they need to succeed academically and in life after the whistle stops. 

"If I don't understand it, they tell me how to instead of just giving it to me so I can figure it out," said Kelsey Jones, 11.

It's a small program giving some kids a big shot at life. The program is open to anyone, regardless of where you live. Those interested in a summer session can contact Howe at lifeafterwhistles.org.

E-mail: cflanagan@wfaa.com

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