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CSU Baseball Helps Launch Urban Sports League
By BASN Wire Services
BALTIMORE, Md. – The Coppin State baseball program helped launch the Urban Sports League (USL) with a baseball clinic on Saturday at Frederick Douglass High School.
Thirty boys and girls ranging from pre-K to fourth grade received instruction from CSU head baseball coach Sherman Reed and the Coppin State baseball team. USL is led by Delores McKinney, CEO of the Eminence Group, LLC.
“I wanted to help my community and received further inspiration from Lou Presutti (founder Cooperstown Dream Park),” McKinney said. “Lou volunteered to help me build a version of Cooperstown Dreams Park in Saginaw, Michigan in 2014. He asked me in return to develop an urban city baseball program which is transparent, marketed, educational, knowledgeable [with] good coaches, and is first and foremost for the kids.”
The USL program will be rolled out to 88 major metro Urban Cities over the next 10 years. It will conduct a two-year pilot program (proof of concept) year one Baltimore, Md. partnering with Coppin State University and nine elementary schools within a one-miles radius of Coppin State. In year two, Saginaw, Mich., we will be added to the pilot program. Currently, 40 children have registered in the pilot program, (7 girls and 33 boys) from ages 6-8.
“When Delores approached me and Ruffin Bell, the athletic marketing, and promotions specialist at Coppin State, a few months ago regarding her vision for this program, we couldn’t say no,” Reed said. “Our student-athletes will gain valuable experience and satisfaction in giving back to the young kids in our community. Giving baseball instruction to kids at the youngest age possible will only enhance their opportunity to be successful and hopefully, continue to participate in the game.”
First-year assistant coach, Matthew Greely, from Juneau, Alaska was excited to hop in on the launch of this program.
“This is a powerful opportunity to give back to the community and grow the game of baseball. Kids at these ages are so impressionable,” he said. “Some of my best memories as a kid came from camps and clinics with older athletes that I looked up to. We have some excellent role models on the baseball team who are excited to help these kids have a safe, fun and memorable experience.”
The program is guided by the principle that they will be able to facilitate healthier lifestyles, higher academic achievement, parental engagement, and positive social skill building over the next eight weeks. The interaction with the collegiate players, parent participation, and adults that are truly invested in the well-being of our youth will yield a rich holistic support oriented baseball/ softball program that will influence youth outcomes.
Disadvantaged youth when involved with positive sports programs more often experiences higher overall self-esteem, more socially skilled, less shy and withdrawn, and less likely to experiment with chemical substances.
“Lou believed the baseball talent in the urban cores is the best-untapped talent anywhere,” McKinney said. “The Urban Sports League benchmarked other inner city programs and identified several factors which impact the success of a program and we’ve put a plan in place to mitigate our chance of failure. The items are; the cost of entry, transportation; parental participation, transparency, volunteer coach training program, community volunteers, and an educational component.”
The National Urban Sports League (USL) is a private, 501(c)3 created to administer two youth sports programs in the top 88 urban cities throughout the United States. The league for boys will be called the Urban Baseball League (UBL); and the league for girls will be called Urban Softball League (USL). Each league will begin with ages 6U and 8U. They are partnering with inner-city public schools and local colleges and universities to provide each child with an opportunity to play our National Pastime. The league was founded by Delores L. McKinney and Lou Presutti as a greater good effort to give inner-city children the opportunity to play baseball and softball and to keep this great American tradition alive in our urban cores.
For more information on the Urban Sports League, please visit http://www.urbansportsleague.org or go their Facebook page at https://m.facebook.com/urbansportsleague.org/?ref=page_internal&mt_nav=1.