'A labor of love': Youth basketball team helps students get to college and beyond

The Bronx-based "pro scholar athlete" Cardinals team helps students' success on and off the court, in school and college admissions. The program has helped students get $13.1 million in scholarships.
5:29 | 06/11/19

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Transcript for 'A labor of love': Youth basketball team helps students get to college and beyond
One fake, one dribble, one shot. Got it! Reporter: Tonight game 5. The golden state warriors can cling to the draechl a dynasty at least one more game. Regardless of who wins, these professionals are already living the dream of every kid who's ever picked up a basketball. And basketball is also a gateway to dreams fulfilled for these young men in New York City tonight. Hopefuls like Cole Anthony, one of the country's top high school prospects. And members of the elite pro scholar athlete program known as psa. I'll be part of the psa program for the rest of my life. Reporter: A youth basketball program geared toward coaching the next generation of NBA stars and their roster proves it. Since the program was founded in 2009, seven graduates are currently playing including the Orlando magic's Mo bramble. The program's a passion project for four old college friends, Terrence bunch Williams, Jason Ford, Justin weir, and dre Charles. Basketball's always been something we all loved. And obviously community and giving back to kids. And if you go down the line, each one of us just wanted to make sure we were doing something that was going to affect the world in a positive manner. It's not just about success on the court. It's about success in life, starting with a college education. What is pro scholar athletes? What we do is try to identify young men and expose them to greater academic, social opportunities through the sport. The impetus of our program is really to position as many black and brown boys to get a free college education. Reporter: But their goeshlgs goal, they say, is not just to motivate the students to be good basketball players but more importantly good citizens. If you see different programs they say listen, if you're a 90 student then we'll help you, deal with you. Or if you're a potential five-star talent basketballwise we'll deal with you. But our guys are different. We take you in -- Show up at the door, we got you. But the requirements are going to be there. You can't be failing classes and playing. To meet those requirements each kid is equipped with an emotional safety net O'. With these boys who's the tough uncle, who's the funny uncle, who's the scary uncle? I think we're all all of those things. My late mama would call that family. The idea of family has emerged because you have some of the older men, they're still looking back to the guys who are teenagers and saying I used to be there but you're part of this brorkthood, part of this family and how can I help shepherd you through. A lesson that Eric Khalid and Anthony know well. Both recent graduates of the same program but with very different paths. My name's Cole Anthony. I played with psa for all of high school. Reporter: Anthony committing to play basketball at the university of North Carolina live on ESPN just weeks ago. I really want to thank all the schools recruited me. I had my final four but at the end of the day I ended up going with North Carolina. My first month of psa kept me on track, whether it was coming to my house, making me get out of bed to make sure I was doing all my schoolwork. Just being there like a brother for me. My name is Eric Khalid long. I just graduated from Thomas Jefferson university. I was there five years, got my mba. Reporter: And while Eric's mba dreams weren't realized he credits psa with setting him on a different road to success. You can play basketball and be smart. Long as you put the work on and you're focused you can be whatever you want to be. When you lift these two boys up as examples to young boys and girls coming in the program, which is the star of those two? They're both the star. That's our job, is to make sure they see you don't only have one dream. With young black boys a lot of times we're taught that things can be very singular. Right? And that there's certain paths that you can go down. Reporter: Psa has sent 62 student athletes to college since 2009, and awarding over $13 million in scholarships every year. Now we finally have, what, 20 guys graduate college with either a bachelor's degree or master's degree in the last two years. Our numbers are a little bit fudged because the guys who don't graduate are going into the NBA, they're leaving as freshmen or sophomores or juniors. So they're messing up the numbers for you. Unfortunately. They've got to go back and As a new generation takes the court for practice, their talent and aspiration the reminder of a legacy fulfilled. Anyone who ever picked up a basketball, the dream is one day being the MVP of the NBA finals. Is that the dream for these boys? I would say basketball wise it's the dream for each one of them. But as they go through the program, as they get older, they start to realize as I'm chasing this dream there's a lot of other smaller goals that I can capture that's going to better prepare for me for manhood in the future when basketball is over. Reporter: Basketball has been called a beautiful game, and it the goal at psa is bigger than it's living a beautiful life. So at the end of the day the goal isn't to create great basketball players but to create great grown-ass men. Yes. There you go. That's it. Who's going to affect the world. In a positive manner. At the end of the day we what? Reporter: For "Nightline" I'm

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