Scholar Athletes

Building Scholar Athletes
2021 Scholar Athletes (2)     Cass Technical High School Class of 2021 Football Standouts (left to right) Doran Ray-Toledo, Kalen King-Penn State, Kobe King-Penn State, Monica Jones- Cass Tech NCAA Coordinator/Counselor, Terrence Enos-Pitt, Raheem Anderson- Michigan, Clarence Wilson-Toledo

    To be a scholar athlete, one must accept the responsibility of wearing two hats. It’s easy to focus primarily on being an athlete. There is conditioning during the off season, practicing, not to mention games during the season. The schedule can be grueling for anyone. The greater challenge comes with understanding that you are a scholar BEFORE an athlete. Remember that academics takes precedence over everything else. Practices and games throughout the week should be implemented into your scholastic schedule. Not the other way around.  Your scholastic agenda not only includes your day classes, add homework, study table, and class projects to the list. It can become overwhelming, especially if you play more than one sport. Here are some ways to make life as a scholar athlete a little more manageable.

MJ & DPJ                                                                                                                                            Cass Tech Alumni &Cleveland Browns Donovan Peoples Jones & Monica Jones

1) Set Academic Goals-The lifestyle of an athlete is very disciplined. An athlete will do what is necessary to be successful in his/her sport. Whether the task is tedious, difficult, or seemingly impossible, an athlete will get it done. PERIOD. No ifs, ands, or buts. That same level of discipline needs to be applied to your studies. Whether you like Modern Literature, Chemistry, or Calculus, do what is necessary to perform your best.  Take notes in class, study for exams, study with a group.  All school districts have an academic requirement. Perhaps it’s a 2.0, 2.5, 2.75, etc. Go above and beyond the minimum requirement.  If that means less time on social media, socializing, television or getting a tutor, put your game face on. Attack the classroom the way you attack the game.

2)Time Management-Believe it or not, time management is most essential in being successful on and off the court.  Develop a weekly schedule so you have a visual of what needs to be done.  Many think they can and will remember the daily events of their lives.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.  Having a visual will help you stay focussed, disciplined, efficient and effective.  The added bonus is being able to see your accomplishments as they occur.

3) Stay Healthy- Eat right.  Junk food can taste good and be more convenient than eating right.  Nevertheless, it’s what’s best for your body, and mind. Eat more fruit, vegetables, drink plenty of water. Dismiss pop, chips, candy, cakes and cookies. Yes those thing are good, but anything exceeding moderation is not good for you.  Also, be diligent with conditioning and remaining in shape during the off season.

4) Attitude Is Everything- Perhaps you are an elite athlete. Let’s suppose you’re All-City, All-State, All-American, or even the number one player in the country.  Whatever gifts and talents you have been blessed with, know and understand that attitude, integrity and character will override talent any day of the week. Being a scholar athlete comes with privileges. BUT…with talent, gifts, and privilege comes responsibility.  Common courtesy, kindness, and graciousness doesn’t make you soft.  It makes you human.  Being an athlete is not a license to be disruptive, incorrigible, and hard to get along with.  I’ve seen several athletes who were once on top of the world one day, only to be straddled underneath it the next.  I’ve heard coaches say they prefer to coach a decent athlete with a great attitude, than a more talented player with a bad one. Trust and believe, there’s nothing more engaging than to interact with someone possessing a cordial disposition.

5) Think Before You Speak and Act- How many times have you said or done something you wish you could take back?  We all have.  We’re people, it’s what we do. However, as an athlete you MUST remember, all eyes are on you! Any action displaying a bad attitude or bad judgement could alter your athletic goals or career. Don’t allow yourself to be driven by the perception of the crowd. Make sure your circle of friends and acquaintances are positive. For every person cheering for you, there will be someone cheering against you.  Trust and believe, someone is always waiting for you to mess up. AND…someone is always watching. Be mindful of who you are and what you project to the world. There are consequences for every action, good or bad.  Think about those consequences before you act. THINK first, think fast and think at all times.                                                                                                         

Student Athlete Checklist for College- Bound Student-Athletes

If playing college sports is your goal, make certain that you complete the necessary tasks.

      • Register at the beginning of your junior year at
      • Ask your high school counselor to send your transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center at the end of your junior year.
      • Take the ACT or SAT and use the code “9999” to have your official scores sent directly to the NCAA Eligibility Center.
      • Check with your high school counselor to make sure you are on track to graduate on time with your class and have the required amount of core courses.uest final amateurism certification during your senior year (beginning April 1).
      • Ask your high school counselor to submit your final transcript with proof of graduation.

*What is the NCAA Eligibility Center? Why is it Important? The NCAA Eligibility Center took over operations for the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse in November 2007. The Eligibility Center certifies the academic and amateur credentials of all students who want to play sports at an NCAA Division I or II institution as freshmen. In order to practice, play and receive an athletic scholarship, students need to meet certain academic benchmarks. An additional certification process exists to make sure the student is still an amateur, which is necessary in order for the student to compete. Students must register at

Path to the Student-Athlete Experience If student athletes wish to participate in NCAA Division I or II athletics, they need to be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center. Students need to qualify academically and will also need to be cleared as an amateur student-athlete. Students are responsible for achieving and protecting thier eligibility status!

For a Complete List of NCAA Courses Visit and enter the site as an NCAA College-Bound Student-Athlete. Navigate to the “Resources” tab, click “U.S. Students” and then “List of NCAA Courses.” Follow the prompts to search for your high school’s list by name.

*Courtesy of NCAA Eligibility Center


6 Things Every Athlete Should know Before Taking the Field-

4 Things the Eligibility Center Needs-

How Do Athletic Scholarships Work?-

10 Things Parents of Athletes Need To Know-

10 Things Every Parent Should Know About College Recruiting-


 Curtis     “My father used to tell me about Curtis Jones. He talked about him often.  Although there was a fifteen year separation, daddy had a special bond with Curtis.  Besides having the same last name, they both were star players on Detroit Northwestern High School’s basketball team(Daddy 52′, Curtis 67′), both were All-City and their pictures STILL hang along the Northwestern High School’s Hall of Fame.
        I remember like it was yesterday. Daddy said Curtis did things Magic Johnson did long before Magic Johnson. He then told me how Curtis’ life took a downward spiral into drugs, mental illness and ultimately death.  All was a result of the fact that he couldn’t read or write. Yes, Curtis made it through high school and college without knowing how to do either. Which means someone “helped” him make it through.
        How many student athletes do we know who are being or have been pushed through the system when we KNOW they don’t have the basic skills to survive? The struggle is real. EVERY student athlete should watch this film.”  Monica Jones
Fouled out: The Story of Curtis Jones                                                                                                        
Premiering September 2015.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s