Partial List of
Colleges and Universities actively recruiting our Sports U/Team IZOD
UVA, Richmond, U
of Mami, Providence, Seton Hall, Fordham, Hofstra, Penn State, St.
Bonaventure, Siena, Robert Morris, Colgate, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Boston
University, Oregon State University, Marist, St. Joe's, Princeton,
American University, Catholic University, NJIT, Alabama A & M, Norfolk
State, UNC-Central, Bloomfield, Dillard University, Oklahoma City
University, Gannon, Savannah State, Morgan State, St. Francis, Florida
Atlantic, Tampa, CW Post, Georgetown College, Stony Brook, Kennesaw State,
Maryland Baltimore-County, Wagner, Delaware, Fordham, Marist, George
Mason, Quinnipiac, UNC Wilmington, George Mason, Colgate & Lafayette
Sports U Team IZOD
On And Off The Court
By Edgar Walker
Sports U Team IZOD has become a fixture
on Championship Sunday at almost every tournament they enter. With teams
from 9U level up to 17U, the organization has become a model of
consistency, getting some of New Jersey’s most talented players to buy
into a team dynamic on the floor.
“There is no secret.”
Ed Bright is the President/General Manager of the organization and
has overseen Sports U since its creation ten years ago.
“We work hard, there are no secrets,” Bright said.
“We live by the five P’s: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.”
Founded by Bright and former NBA star Daryl Dawkins ten years ago
and the addition of Brian Coleman as Director of basketball operations 8
years ago, Sports U has become the program of choice in the New Jersey.
The five-P philosophy has become a staple of the organization, which
Bright explains is much deeper than just basketball.
“We do a lot of off-the-court activities. We don't compromise on academic
standards Cheryl Walker Robertson runs our personal development modules
where we do etiquette training, leadership training, critical thinking,”
“[Players] learn how to introduce themselves, how to interview, how to
introduce others, appropriate attire, what to put on facebook and living a
priority filled life.”
“I want them to see that this ball is going to stop bouncing,” Bright says
about the academic side of Sports U’s mission.
“When they think about college, I want them to think about a great 40-year
decision, not just a great four-year decision. That as we prepare our
young men for college that must clearly understand that college has to
impact your life for the next forty years.”
Aligned with tremendous sponsors in PVH/IZOD and Under Armour, Bright says
that there is an inherent advantage to being a sponsored team – an
advantage that the Sports U organization is very grateful to have.
“Nine, years ago, IZOD believed and partnered with our vision. They
committed to us…We’re very grateful about where we are as a program. We’ve
“Obviously sponsorship means that you’re able to be in all the right
places and attract more of the elite-type athlete…You can put them in
forums like Hoop Group, UA Association Circuit in Pittsburgh, Houston and
Milwaukee which is amazing, AAU Nationals in Orlando, Fab 48 in Las
Vegas., Real Deal in Little Rock Arkansas. You can put them in front of
300 to 400 Division 1 coaches during the live period.”
As the program has grown, so has its reputation in recruiting circles.
The organization’s 2013 class had great success on the AAU circuit and was
well-represented at the Division I level, with players headed to Temple,
Oregon State, St. Joseph’s, Princeton, and Quinnipiac, U of Hawaii, U of
Ohio, U of South Alabama just to name a few.
The Sports U 2014 class is off to a great start, as well with center Karl
Towns verbally committed to Kentucky and sharpshooter Jared Nickens making
his pledge to Maryland, Wade Baldwin is committed to Vanderbilt, Quadri
Moore to Cinncinati, Kenny Grant to Rider, Tom Lacey to Naval Academy and
the anticipation of Tarin Smith and his college decision.
“At the end of the day, we’re able to stand at a table and I cry while
they sign their national letter of intent, I cry like a baby,” Bright says
because I personally know how hard these young men work and how engaged
their families and friends support and give up of themselves for them to
Were grateful as a program that our scholarship athletes “They can get the
chance to show what we work and prepare so hard for. They buy in.”
Led by Nickens, Baldwin, Moore, Grant,
Towns, Smith, Marques Townes, last year’s 17U squad took home the 2013
Pitt Jam Fest championship, advanced to the semifinals of both the 2013
Philly Jam Fest and Southern Jam Fest, and recently advanced to the
championship game of the Rumble in the Bronx (Sports U won the Rumble
title in the 16U division).
This impressive consistency at major events is a point of pride for the
entire IZOD family.
“We are committed to getting better every time out. We play hard; if
you’re coming into to play us, it’s going to be a 15-round fight. Because
we play hard.”
More than anything, Bright is ecstatic with the direction the program is
headed and the people involved from top to bottom.
“We’ve got great kids. We’ve got the best families in the business,”
“Our young men get better as young men…There is no secret.”