Legacy: The School of Sport Sciences
Updated: Sep 8, 2021
Texas-based school teaches student athletes the business-side of sports too.
It's been 20 years since I graduated from high school. I'm closing in on 40 (man, I'm old), but I remember high school being some of the best years of my life. We had an annual water balloon fight at the end of the year amongst friends, prank wars, racing in the parking lot, playing hookie and grabbing some Chick-Fil-A; great memories indeed.
I wasn't a bad kid. I did take out my parent's car while they were away over the weekend and got into an accident, all while driving without a license. I mean, who doesn't get into a little mischievous fun while they were young? I certainly did. But, I wasn't a bad kid. I never hurt people or destroyed property. I think my behavior during these teen years was due to being unmotivated. The one thing I wished high school did better at was keep me engaged. I did ok in school, but I felt very bored. I wasn't the studious nerd type like my brother, who went on to attend Berkeley, and then study to become a lawyer. The thought of becoming a doctor never appealed to me, no matter how hard my Vietnamese parents forced it down my throat. I wish there was something beyond the traditional curriculum that kept me focused and aspiring to do something. I suppose that's what my college years were for, but damn, if I could have done something in sports back then, I would have.
That's what Legacy: The School of Sport Sciences is doing. Not only are they a premier charter school for student-athletes, they offer a unique curriculum that helps kids develop life skills through the lens of sports. Sometimes math lessons are geared around sports contracts. Marketing courses are taught with an eye on current trends in sports fashion. Biology can be centered around sports and kinesiology. And on top of that, they work around a student's sports schedule.
If you've got a tournament coming up, the school schedule works around that. The most interesting thing about this school you may ask? It's that they offer different avenues to the business side of sports.
Like how our old friend Kevin Willis said:
"You can aspire to be a pro athlete. It will be hard work and if you make it to the pros, that's a result of a mixture of talent and hard work. But if you don't, what are you going to do? You need to develop skills that can help you not only survive, but thrive. If you still wish to be around sports, there are other ways to be successful besides becoming a pro ball player. In the fashion industry, not everyone is cut out to be a fashion designer. But you can be a great buyer and be just as successful. Kids need to understand to have a backup plan."
Legacy helps provide these alternative routes for these young people especially for female athletes.
A rockin' goal of theirs is to get girls more interested in the elevated positions of sports; coaching, sports management and sports medicine. We've seen confidence and leadership from watching Becky Hammon operate the San Antonio Spurs, with NBA All-Stars such as Pau Gasol heaping praise on her. We've seen Kim Miale become a dominant force in sports management. Known so long for being dominated by the boys, we're starting to see a much needed pivot towards progressiveness.
And Legacy isn't just a name they pulled from a Supreme beanie. It runs much deeper for the Executive Director, Kerrie Patterson-Brown, a former collegiate star basketball player. She wants every student who passes through their doors to leave a mark in the world. Whether that's in sports or not, leaving a positive legacy is all the congratulations she needs.
Moving through the education system can be daunting enough. Do you guys remember having to move to a new school? Make new friends? Speak to a teacher? All of these normal-ish things can make a student shy, depressed and downright fearful. Legacy offers deep relationship-building by bonding over something we all love – sports.
As Executive Director, Brown wants forge as many relationships as she can within the sports world. Besides the Houston Astros, Texans and Rockets, she's established relationships with The University of Texas, Texas A&M University, the San Antonio Spurs and a few others in the pipeline. All of which, according to Brown, will lead to establishing Legacy's curriculum to other schools around the globe. Imagine if teaching When I was a teen, going to a high school with no sports felt a little weird, but I got used to it. I haphazardly joined orchestra and band, out of loyalty to my parents and my brother. "Just do what your brother does," my parents always told me. But I now know that sports holds a pretty significant place in people's lives and can be used as a tool to teach some really solid life skills. Who knows, perhaps I'll let my kids go here in about 10 years. They definitely got the athleticism gene from me! (That was sarcasm).