Home Featured News HOOPS Life – Making A Difference For Todays Youth

HOOPS Life – Making A Difference For Todays Youth

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Hoops Life Tavares Florida

Tavares Florida —

A visit to the HOOPS Training Facility located in Tavares, FL was an enlightening experience. With the massive number of non-profit organizations throughout Central Florida and Lake County it is always a great feeling to find one that directly deals with issues facing todays youth.

A quick fact check on current non-profit filings in Lake County listed over 2.042 organizations with assets of approximately $2,236,317,269. With so many choices finding an organization to support can be a difficult task. For issues facing Lake County youth, Pat Burkes HOOPS Life program may just fill the need.

The Founder, Patrick “Pat” John Burke is a former Professional basketball player. Undrafted out of Auburn University in 1997 Pat won six championships during his nine years playing professionally in Europe. He was then signed to a contract with the Orlando Magic for the 2002-03 season, to be followed up by another 2 years in Europe before finally returning to  play in the NBA for the Phoenix Suns for two seasons from 2005-07. Upon retirement Pat looked for opportunities where he could share his personal life experiences and growth to make a difference for the struggles many of todays youth face in their daily lives.

The HOOPS Life Cares, Inc. Nonprofit was established to benefit Lake County’s youth through a life skills and leadership based educational curriculum called HOOPS Life. HOOPS Life is a 12 week program that introduces children to leadership and life skills intended to develop, transform and provide applications to improve their lives on and off the court.

Community Leaders and Educators assist in identifying recipients in need of the HOOPS Life program and scholarships are awarded through an application process. Single parent homes, at risk youth and families facing life altering illness are some of the families identified in benefiting from this opportunity.

When asking Pat about the mission of the program he stated, “Our mission is to impact community youth through a life skills based educational program. Utilizing basketball as the vehicle to support youth with life challenges and leadership opportunities both on and off the court.”

Since January 2012: 479 scholarships have been given, with 177 children helped in Lake County during 2016 – 2017, 56% were minority children, and the ages ranged from 7 – 14 years.

Hoops Life Gym

The program has a proven track record through their partnership agreements made with participants. Increasing self-awareness, practicing and applying new behaviors at HOOPS, at home and in the community, reinforcing, monitoring and fine tuning the newly learned behaviors are just a few of the achievements gained from participation.

HOOPS Life continues to monitor and measure results of the program, with the most recent findings:

  • 62% Improved Problem Solves
  • 58% Improved Confidence
  • 58% Improved Self-Control
  • 57% Improved Working through Challenges
  • 56% Improved Completes Assignments/Tasks

The program is not just about developing basketball skills. It is about improving LIFE SKILLS.

To find out more information or assist in the impact HOOPS Life is having, please call Pat Burke (352) 253-4667 or email him at pat@hoopslifeusa.com.

More information can also be found on their website at — Hoops Pat Burk


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Myke Wharff

I am affiliated with this program as a volunteer from the Eustis Elks and can vouch for the effectiveness of this program first hand. I have been working with a group of young children as an assistant for the first 7 weeks of the 12 week program and can not believe the change in the confidence and gained ability to focus. We spend a half hour on subjects like sportsmanship, integrity among many character traits then it is demonstrated through basketball. It’s not about being a star player. It is about bettering the life choices of the kids. IT WORKS!!!