Growing up, I never would have thought that I would be where I am today. At the age of 16, I was asked to leave home and from that moment on, I was on my own. I was fortunate enough to meet a few people who made a real impression on my life and showed me who I could become. These mentors, and the opportunities they provided me, helped shape my future.
Now, as the founder and director of the Crush Basketball Club, I am grateful for the chance to provide opportunities for young athletes to grow and develop. I started Crush in 2015 after I spoke with a local youth basketball program about the quality of girls basketball and was told, "They're just girls, just go play." That didn't sit well with me.
I wanted to create a program that would not only provide high-quality basketball training but also empower young athletes, especially girls, to believe in themselves and their abilities. I wanted to create a program that would show them that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.
But Crush is not just about basketball. It's about developing character and leadership skills that will serve our athletes well beyond their playing days. We focus on building a strong team culture and creating a positive and inclusive environment where everyone can feel supported and valued.
For me, Crush is not just a job, it's a passion. It's a way for me to give back to the community that gave me so much. In addition to Crush, I am also the commissioner for the state of Wisconsin for Under the Lights Flag Football, which is the premier flag football experience in Wisconsin, and I own a successful landscape business, Acme Household Services.
I am a father to eight children and I am blessed to be married to my wife, Melanie Hawk. Together, we have built a life focused on family, community, and service. I am grateful for the opportunities and mentors that have shaped me into the person I am today, and I hope to continue paying it forward through my work with Crush and other endeavors.