By Dean Stephensdstephens@abcnews4.comCHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- It's all he's ever known, a basketball junkie straight from the streets of downtown Charleston. The game kept Jermel President off the corners as a kid, and he grew to be a high school standout at Burke High School.But it wasn't nearly enough for President."Transitioning to the College of Charleston opened my eyes up to things I was not aware of in high school. I realized there is another world outside of my own. I wanted to stay in Charleston to be close to family, and the College of Charleston had an excellent coaching staff and was becoming more and more competitive in Division 1 basketball," said President. From Prep School to the College of Charleston, President's hoop dreams were just being realized. So too were his Cougars, those were the glory days of C of C basketball. President played in four straight post season tournaments." Playing for the college was life-changing. I learned a lot from Coach Kresse who is so knowledgeable about the game, "said President.But the courts still had more to offer.Five years playing overseas taught President life lessons he now passes along to younger players."Overseas, I learned what it means to be dedicated to the sport of basketball. I realized what I did not have to prolong my career, so I want to teach young kids what they have to have to live out their dreams," said President.President's drive to teach, to train, and to educate is as strong as his desire was to win at the high school, college and pro level -- if not more."Educating young kids is very rewarding for a number of reasons. Basketball is a part of me and teaching and educating kids how to be successful through the game is very rewarding. I want to teach basketball development and skills early in a kid's life so they learn it correctly and improve on the skills over time. It is much more difficult to unlearn incorrect techniques as a kid gets older, so early development is very important,"said President.He is a product of the streets. He went right when many around him went left; left turns that left many talented young players hooked on drugs and alcohol and without a future in the game that has served Jermel President so well."Exposure through Midnight Basketball helped me get to where I needed to be in basketball. I was falling short being recruited and this program gave me hope of playing at the next level," said President.His DAE foundation is what drives him now. It's helped him reach kids from all over the Lowcountry. He works at the Jewish Community Center in West Ashley and now has a new setup in Mt. Pleasant."The Mt. Pleasant facility is exciting for many reasons. I think it is a great opportunity for development in the sport of basketball. I no longer have to bounce around from gym to gym and have one secure spot. I hope to educate athletes and parents on all the aspects of the game including the basics but also nutrition, recruitment, and development. I hope to change the routine and educate parents about the unrecruited athlete. Scott Ellington had a dream of putting a training facility in place because he sees the lack of development in this area and wanted to help," said President.President will be holding a free clinic April 13 at the Crosscourts Training Facility at 3400 Turgot Lane in Park West.For more information go to President's website, www.DAEfoundation.org.
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