On this special 197th episode of “Listen In With KNN” presented by Fox Sports 1340AM/96.9 FM, executive producer and host Kelsey Nicole Nelson welcomed special guests Dr. Shira Ackerman, CEO and Co-Founder of Creating Young Minds (CYM) and Mathis Crowder, President and Co-Founder of Creating Young Minds to the show.
The duo joined the show to provide insight into the CYM Undiscovered Basketball League. Creating Young Minds is a nonprofit organization located in Lewisville, Texas. Creating Young Minds, was created to help young men achieve success in life that otherwise would be unavailable to them. Founded by Dr. Shira Ackerman and Mathis Crowder in 2011, Creating Young Minds Academy is using basketball to help change young mens’ lives and learn valuable lessons.
Texas has provided the perfect backdrop for Creating Young Minds. Dr. Ackerman explained for her and Crowder, Texas was the perfect location for their organization because it was a ‘hotbed’ for sports. But at the same time they felt that there was still a huge need for undiscovered talent to be found. “It’s one of the top areas for sports, then you also have so many resources right here for sports. Look at all the universities, look at all of the pro teams… Once we were here it was easy for us to do things,” said Dr. Ackerman. The duo felt that they could host their own events in the state and that everyone would be drawn to come to their area. “It’s so much in Texas, we didn’t have to go outside the state very much. “We moved down here so we could start a prep school, CYM Academy for high school and postgraduate young men who have that one year outside of high school to continue playing and developing before going off to college when their eligibility starts,” said Dr. Ackerman.
Dr. Ackerman explained that typically CYM gets guys who need development and guys who didn’t really get a chance to play in high school. “For us, starting the academy was about helping guys get college scholarships… We’ve had a lot of success over the first eight years,” said Dr. Ackerman. CYM feels the young men living in their communities are gaining a broader appreciation for self and others, education, and athletics through basketball, school, support and guidance. “The mind is always creating and the mind is young.” Said Crowder of the name.
When it comes to community involvement of Creating Young Minds, Christian Community Action (CCA) of Lewisville is one of their biggest partners. The CCA has a food pantry and recently, Ackerman and Crowder have gathered their athletes to help deliver food to the senior citizens within the community throughout the pandemic. “We join as many of the organizations for volunteer opportunities as we can in the area to give our guys experience working with everybody in the community,” said Dr. Ackerman.