- 06.19.2022 Celebrating Juneteenth: Educate and Inspire
Hosted by Ahmed Fareed and Dave Feldman, we heard life-changing stories from Bay Area athletes honoring their transformational coaches. Seven-time pro bowler and former San Francisco 49er, Patrick Willis, shared memories of his mentor and friend, Mike Singletary, and Stanford University golf National Champion Rachel Heck honored collegiate coach Anne Walker. Each reflected on the significance of sports, mentorship, and the importance of connecting with a caring adult outside the home.
Our two Coaches of the Year, Breasha Pruitt and Shawn Granberry, inspired us all with their commitment to creating positive sports opportunities for all kids. Regardless of where they live, what sport they play, or the barriers within their communities, every child deserves a positive youth sports experience that is living up to the promise of what youth sports can be for all kids.
At the event, we celebrated the official merger of Positive Coaching Alliance and Coaching Corps. By coming together as one, we have expanded our footprint, deepened our purpose, and increased our ability to support and recruit coaches across the country. We have formed new alliances and partnerships so that together, we can deliver on the promise of youth sports for all kids, regardless of social or economic circumstances.
COACHES OF THE YEAR
Having been at the top of the sport herself, Breasha Pruitt knew the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of competing at an elite level in gymnastics.
By the age of 10, the awards were rolling in and Breasha was already a member of the US National Team. In 6th grade, Breasha left her home and family to live with a host family in Texas with the goal of becoming a member of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Team. She went on to live with 3 different families in Texas and Pennsylvania. After 2 serious injuries, Breasha rehabbed at home and made a full recovery. She earned an athletic scholarship to the top gymnastics school in the country at the time, the University of Georgia. Coaching gymnastics was a natural next step for Breasha; and when the gym where she coached closed down and she saw the devastation on her athletes’ faces not knowing where they might land, she prayed and decided to open her own gym. Four years ago, she started Breasha Pruitt Elite Gymnastics. Breasha shared, “My journey to becoming an elite gymnast was not always positive, safe, or fun. I was coached by people who used intimidation, racial slurs, and body shaming. When creating the atmosphere for Breasha Pruitt Elite Gymnastics, it was important to me to provide a safe haven for children and create positive and fun memories to last a lifetime. I am changing the culture by coaching the right way, allowing each athlete to make mistakes and grow in a positive environment.” Her gym is her family and her athletes know their worth outside of sports because she cares for each of them deeply. She is doing her part to change the culture in youth gymnastics for the better!
Many in the entertainment industry may know Shawn Granberry as the trailblazing CEO of “Hip Hop TV” and the “Watch Now Networks.” What they may not know is that Shawn, a proud native of Oakland, California, and a twelve-year Coaching Corps veteran coach, is someone who has dedicated his life to giving back to young people in under-resourced communities.
Over a decade ago, Shawn started the Scholar Athletic Union (SAU) with good friend and NBA Hall of Famer Jason Kidd. Through SAU, Shawn helps inner-city youth in Oakland realize their potential through sports and academics so that they may achieve a college education. The basketball skills camp now serves 60-100 local youth each session in partnership with the Oakland Parks and Recreation Department. Every college volunteer is a Coaching Corps trained coach. Shawn also donates his time to the Emeryville Citizens Assistance Program, which aims to provide food, household furnishings, care, and compassion to those in need in the surrounding Bay Area communities. At the height of the nationwide shutdown, alongside ECAP staff and fellow Coaching Corps volunteers, including Antonio Davis, Shawn helped distribute food to thousands of neighbors and families hardest hit by the effects of the pandemic.
About Positive Coaching Alliance
PCA’s vision is to build a world where every child benefits from a positive youth sports experience with a coach who inspires them to become the best version of themselves in the game and in life.
We train coaches and partner with youth sports organizations, parents, sports leaders, and communities to make youth sports more positive, equitable, and accessible to all kids regardless of social or economic circumstances.
For more information, go to positivecoach.org