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Educate and Graduate

Remember the old myth about how athletes were a bunch of dumb jocks? Well the student-athletes of the Minneapolis Public School System have sent that rumor to the sidelines in the last couple of years. According to this article out of the Minnesota Star Tribune, 99% of the seniors who participated in sports graduated last year, and their average GPA was 3.15 on a 4.00 scale.

If you’re playing along at home, that’s 659 out of 666 seniors who both participated in sports and who graduated in the Class of 2016.

This is outstanding news, as sports budgets have been cut in Minneapolis public schools at all levels.

A huge shout out to Trent Tucker, who is both my broadcast partner for the Minnesota state boys’ basketball tournament and a friend of mine. In 2013, Trent took over as the athletic director for Minneapolis Public Schools.

Lea Olsen with Trent Tucker
Trent Tucker middle, Lea B. Olsen right

As a former college All-American at the University of Minnesota, first-round NBA draft pick, and NBA Champion with the 1993 Chicago Bulls, Trent is someone who understands the importance of sports in the lives of young athletes.

Educating our young people is the single-most important component of the athlete’s experience. It is the most important win for our kids to achieve on their way to success later in life. When our student-athletes move on with a solid education and a resume that boasts of their athletic prowess, their futures become open to all possibilities.

As a graduate of Minneapolis South High and a proud Tiger basketball alum, I can speak first hand how doors opened up for me with the winning formula of education + sports = success. In this formula, there isn’t the win-at-all-cost mentality which often permeates programs, schools, even entire districts, and leaves behind the focus on education in order to perpetuate the obsession with winning.

While we all love watching great athletes do their thing, there is nothing better than watching a student-athlete strut across the stage with their cap and gown, armed with a bright future!

Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2017 and making sure we educate, graduate, and enjoy watching our student-athletes win both in sports and in life!

Let’s continue to Rethink the Win at all levels of competition and make sure our athletes are being given all the tools that sports has to offer on how to be successful in life.

Here’s to winning!

Lea B

Bring Back the Fun

Athletes won’t remember the individual wins or losses, but they will always remember a coach who brought positive energy, the camaraderie of friends and mastering a skill.