The Chicago Elite Classic that features 22 of the best high school teams from across the country held its Champions in Life workshop recently at Whitney Young High School. The goal of the Champions in Life workshop is to arm these young athletes with skills that will take them beyond the sport of basketball. The workshop was hosted by Charmaine Johnise of Black INK Crew Chicago. The panel consisted of Robert Scoop Jackson, senior writer of ESPN; Camron Smith, sports anchor at CBS; Dj Nephets, radio personality at Power 92.3; J. Ivy, Grammy award winning poet, public speaker, and author; Keith Lathan, financial advisor and Ramonita Jimenez of Nike.
Each panelist shared their life experience to provide motivation and insight to the youth involved. Education, financial literacy, planning, setting and achieving goals and overcoming your environment were topics that were touched on.
We spoke with Coach Robert Smith of Simeon High School and asked him why this was important. He said, “We just think that the guys need to see something other than basketball. We put some powerful people in front of them, who look like them and who are doing some stuff that is still successful and doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with basketball. We want them to know that nothing is going to be given to them. They have to work for everything they are going to get.”
Grammy award-winning poet J.Ivy performed a poem that summed up the spirit of the event and energized the student athletes.
Take a look at a few pictures below.