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Councilmember Michael Julian Bond Acclaims ALTA Blazzin’ Basketball Program with Proclamation

Post Date:06/08/2018 5:09 PM

News Release

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Council Communications
Atlanta City Hall
55 Trinity Avenue, SW, Suite 2551
Atlanta, Georgia 30303 

CONTACT:
Sandra L. McGill
Communications Specialist, Office of Communications
Office: (404) 546-1477
Cell: (470) 698-4656
Email: slmcgill@atlantaga.gov

June 8, 2018

Councilmember Michael Julian Bond Acclaims ALTA Blazzin’ Basketball Program with Proclamation

 ALTA Blazzin

Councilmember Michael Julian Bond (sixth from left) and members of the Atlanta City Council honor volunteers of the Athletes Learning to Achieve (ALTA) Blazzin’ Basketball Program, including founder and head coach Johnny Clark (holding proclamation).

ATLANTA—Post 1 At-Large Councilmember Michael Julian Bond honored the Atlanta-based nonprofit Athletes Learning to Achieve (ALTA) Blazzin’ Basketball Program, a volunteer-staffed organization that provides opportunities for boys aged 11 to 17 to learn life skills through basketball, with a special proclamation at the June 4 regularly scheduled meeting of the Atlanta City Council.

“Often, we talk about how it’s important to reach back, and to mentor our youth, and to make sure we’re making a difference in the community,” said Bond. “This group is made up of all volunteers. They take kids from around the Atlanta area—from different schools, and they provide not only coaching skills, but leadership skills.”

ALTA brings together youth of similar age but dissimilar abilities that each have a desire to learn and play competition-level basketball. Through this outlet, coaches teach participants skills including sportsmanship, discipline, cooperation, competition, self-confidence and teamwork. The program leads athletes in positive directions through skill-development sessions, competitive tournaments with college-recruitment exposure, individual and small-group training, college recruiting assistance and strength development. ALTA volunteers emphasize the importance of education and promote athletes’ development of confidence, self-esteem and leadership in an atmosphere in which coaches push participants to excel collegiately.

Johnny Clark, founder and head coach of the ALTA program, was visibly moved during the ceremony. “I don’t do this [program] for this,” Clark said, pointing to the mounted proclamation in his hand. “I’m happy when I see them achieve something that they thought they would never achieve.” Twelve of Clark’s former ALTA participants have since graduated college, 10 of which “had never even thought about college,” said Clark. “Out of that 10, five came from the projects.”

Many of Clark’s athletes continue to stay in contact with him after leaving the ALTA program, now in its twelfth year. “They come back to me to just say, ‘Thanks for believing in me, Coach, when nobody else did,’” said Clark.

Individuals interested in learning more about the program may do so by calling Clark at (404) 438-9117 or emailing altabball@gmail.com. Information is also available at the program’s website, www.altablazzin.net.

Click here for proclamation presentation.

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