Our Jerry Gamble Club in north Minneapolis partners with Minnesota Preparatory Academy to provide exclusive high school/post-graduate education and elite athletic training. In collaboration with the Academy, the Jerry Gamble Boys & Girls Club provides teens intensive basketball and weight training, rigorous workforce development and academic programming, mental toughness instruction, and nutritious, balanced meals each day. These potential D1 athletes travel across the country to play against other national league teams while learning to take responsibility over their physical and mental health.
Rudi, now a senior, has been playing basketball since the fourth grade and attending the Boys & Girls Clubs since the fifth grade. He is grateful for the opportunity to challenge himself, travel, stay physically and mentally strong, and build meaningful relationships with his teammates and coaches.
For Rudi, the Minnesota Preparatory Academy program is a reason to make better health choices – to prioritize nutrition, balance, and recovery.
“I had to watch what I ate and make better health choices,” Rudi says. “Sleep was a big part of it. For my body to regenerate and heal, I had to get more sleep. I started feeling more refreshed, more energized, more awake, more in-tune, I’m grasping concepts faster than I normally would. Seeing those differences made me want to stay that course consistently.”
The program has also brought Rudi healthy, life-long relationships. He especially appreciates the bond he has had with Coach Luke for over 10 years.
“Luke has played a huge part in my life. When I started playing, my parents weren’t able to cover some fees, and they weren’t able to take me to practice. So [Luke] came and picked me up every single day. I’m forever grateful for that,” Rudi explains. “The way I see it, I try to pay my dues on the court, working hard, listening to what he says. Everything he told me, I soaked it all in. He has guided me in the basketball world, in school, and in life.”
Rudi’s time at the Club has taught him responsibility, good character, healthy habits, time management, and the value of hard work. His dream is to go on to play D1 college basketball and potentially pursue a degree in Computer Science.