Jan. 17

Ball Doesn't Bother Me

As an over 20-year educator I have experienced hundreds of parents who had unreasonable expectations of their children’s academic and athletic expectations. I guess, that’s why Lavar Ball does not bother me.

Lavar Ball is loud, opinionated, and gets overly involved, however, his actions have also made a brand for himself. I do not know how long he can sustain this type of energy, but you must appreciate the hustle.

As an educator I have learned that anything you cannot control you cannot worry about. As a social studies teacher I also know that although you have freedom of speech, you do not have freedom from response.

I cannot control what Mr. Ball says, but the Lakers can. The question is whether Lonzo Ball’s talent is worthy of the distraction caused by Lavar Ball? In all industries you make exceptions based on talent, here is no need to hide that fact. However, when the talent does not produce at an acceptable level, the talent becomes a nuisance.

No matter what the Lakers do this season they are no better than the 7th best team in the West and that is only if they fully maximize their potential. Therefore, they need this year to fully assess the talent they have, to make the moves needed to improve through both the draft and free agency.

If Mr. Ball’s actions bothers the organization enough, they can trade Lonzo and get a player of equal value. If they believe in Lonzo Ball and his talent, then a change must take place in the organization’s approach with Lavar Ball.

In terms of LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, I am sorry they do not have the ability to enjoy high school and college basketball. LiAngelo Ball made a huge mistake in China. I thought he should have apologized, taken the punishment, and spent the time working on his game at UCLA. With the work he put in, he could have a full sophomore season and more importantly grow as a person. LaMelo Ball is 16 years old and appears to have a lot of talent, however, he will not have the ability to simply enjoy playing high school basketball. For some that may not be important, but for me as an educator, I believe that today’s student has too many responsibilities thrust upon them based on environmental factors and I consistently am concerned about long term impact. Now they are both in Lithuania playing professional basketball in a sheltered environment.

At the end of the day Lavar Ball is a parent who wants the best for his children. I will always take a parent being involved over the absenteeism that I see in education. I wish the entire Ball family nothing but the best, but remember something my coach used to tell me, the same people you meet on the way up the ladder, are the same people you meet going down the ladder, so I hope you are kind to people.

Dec. 30

Reflecting on a Challenging but Productive Year

As we leave 2017 and enter 2018 it is always a good time to reflect.

I didn't t miss 2016 because Prince died. I won't miss 2017 because my good friend and basketball brother Walter Hardy passed away. These losses have had a profound impact on me and continue to remain in my thoughts daily.

Prince was and is my favorite musician. He was a self-taught and self-motivated person who was willing to be different. Walter was and is my favorite person. Walter didn't mind if you disagreed with him because he knew where your heart was, and you could never stay mad at the guy.

As we leave 2017 and enter 2018 I feel a strong, powerful, positive change coming over our organization as we continue to grow and evolve. Organizationally we continue to take risks because we are willing to be different. Some of those risks are costly, but as organizations grow and mature, they continue to learn lessons about how they can best meet the goals of their vision and mission.

Our heart continues to be in the right place which is advocating for student-athletes and soon the work we have done as an organization over the past 5 years will be published for the world to see and that will be a glorious moment for the many people who have supported and believed in our vision of using the combination of academics and athletics as a catalyst to lifelong success.

Our mission is to support student-athletes and the people who work with them through educational and professional development has not changed, only intensified.

Since 2009, the CKA SAVE Project has been an industry leader in advocating for the needs of student-athletes. Below are some of the highlights from our close to a decade's worth of work promoting and supporting student-athletes:


- Hosted college visits to such schools as Hood College, University of Maryland, University of Virginia, Marymount, Towson, Delaware State, and Lincoln University to name a few.

- Hosted several conferences and workshops pertaining to student-athletes including: Student-Athlete Leaderships Conferences, Women's Leadership Conferences, and Transitioning to High School workshops.

- Presenting at National Conferences on such topics as: Building Professional Learning Communities, Teaching with an Athletic Mindset, Developing a Greater Understanding of Student-Athlete Motivation, and Finding the Balance between Academic and Athletic Success.


- For the past seven years, and counting, host an annual Holiday Basketball Tournament featuring 25 different public and private high schools from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.

- For the past four years, and counting, host an annual CKA Academic All-Star Game featuring over 200 student-athletes who were recognized for finding the balance between academic and athletic success.

- Provide athletic mentoring and counseling for student-athletes and families to assist in navigating the college recruiting process.

*Future Projects*

- Expand our Project 120 Fundraising campaign. Project 120 is our organizational fundraising drive where we are seeking 120 donors to contribute $5-$20 monthly to help our organization continue its growth and development.

- Publish educational research on Student-Athlete Motivation.

- Increase our national presence by doing educational commentary.

- Develop curriculum to assist student-athletes in finding a better balance between academic and athletic success.

- Develop a College Basketball Tournament.

- And so much more

So, as we leave 2017 and enter 2018 I do miss Prince and I do miss Wally, but I will never forget what their legacy means to me.

1. Don't be afraid to be different. Not everyone feels the same sense of urgency as we do with regards to student-athlete academic and athletic progress, but we will continue to push forward with our innovative thoughts and ideas.

2. It is ok to disagree with people because our heart is in the right place. The CKA SAVE Project will continue to advocate for student-athletes. When we publish our research in 2018, as well as increase our commentary on issues related to student-athlete academic and athletic success, many people will disagree with our thoughts and ideas, but that's ok because our hearts in the right place.

I am sure Prince and Walter will be proud. Now go hug someone (Miss u both).

Wishing everyone continued success and blessed New Year!

Academically and Athletically Yours,
Keith Adams

April 17

Greetings All,

I hope everyone is well.

I am hopefully in a position to begin providing regular updates on the happenings of the CKA SAVE Project.

*Professional Update*

Due to the positive growth and expansion of the CKA SAVE Project, I resigned my position as Athletic Director at Wheaton High School, effective June 30, 2017, to focus my attention building the CKA SAVE Project into a National Organization.

*Senior Academic All Star Game Report*

This past year we were fortunate to move both our Holiday Basketball Tournament and Senior Academic All Star Game to Howard Community College. Both events received positive feedback from players, coaches, and fans. There are two articles below highlighting the All Star Game. However, due to our move to HCC, we have incurred greater organizational financial costs, including insurance and facility costs. As a result of a lack of outside sponsorship, our organization has absorbed the majority of the costs.

Two Articles on the Senior Academic All Star games at Howard Community College (Click on article links below)

*Dissertation Update*

This past winter my dissertation proposal was accepted by my committee and I am now in the process of receiving formal approval to conduct active, scholarly research on student-athlete motivation this summer.

I also received word that once my research is completed, there will be opportunities to present my findings at academic and athletic conferences across the country.

*Plans for the 2017-2018 CKA Season*

Within the next CKA Season we plan to:

1. Publish and present research on student-athlete motivation

2. Beginning our Find the Balance (FTB) paid consultant services to assist student-athletes attend college

3. Continue hosting our Holiday Basketball Tournaments and Academic All Star Games

4. Reinstate our CKA Awards Night, including our Academic Scholarship Award, as well as college visits, and our annual amusement park trip.

5. File full 990 tax forms so that we can join the Combined Federal Campaign

6. Join AAU and develop both a girls and boys basketball program to assist players and coaches in their growth and development.

All of these projects need increased financial support.

During our 2017 Capital Campaign during the months of April and May we are seeking to raise a minimum of $5000 to provide the money needed to properly fund these initiatives.

We are asking supporters to assist us in the following ways:

1. Make either a tax deducible donation to the CKA SAVE Project


2. Share our message in your social network circle to assist us in reaching our fundraising goals.

Please consider making a direct donation to the CKA SAVE Project at (Click Donate). The suggested donation is $35 (The average cost to support an All Star Game Participant), but any amount will help. Please feel free to share our request with others who share our vision and mission.

If you wish to mail your donation please send it to:

CKA SAVE Project
PO Box 9477
Silver Spring, MD 20904

Thank you for supporting student-athletes.

Keith Adams
CKA SAVE Project

Nov. 27

Gone but not forgotten.

It has been a long time since I have had the opportunity to sit down and write a Straight Talk column, however, the SAVE Project is always in my thoughts.

Over the past year the CKA SAVE Project has continued to grow and evolve into an outstanding vehicle to assist student-athletes and the people who work with them through educational and professional development.

As we continue into 2016 we are proud of our past and excited for our future.

*Upcoming Events:*

*CKA/Panther Holiday Invitational December 28 and 29, 2015*

It gives me great pleasure to announce that the 2015 CKA/Panther Holiday Invitational Basketball Tournament will take place December 28 and 29, 2015 at Paint Branch High School.

Paint Branch High School
14121 Old Columbia Pike
Burtonsville, Maryland 20866

The Game schedule is as follows:

*Monday December 28, 2015 *

Game 1 - 10:00 Boys Game: Huntingtown vs. Watkins Mill

Game 2 - 12:00 Boys Game: Surrattsville vs. BCC

Game 3 - 2:00 Girls Game: Mt. Hebron v. Kennedy

Game 4 - 4:00 Girls Game: Urbana v. Paint Branch

Game 5 - 6:00 Boys Game: St. Andrews v. Chapelgate

Game 6 - 8:00 Boys Game: Long Reach v. Paint Branch

*Tuesday December 29, 2015 *

Game 7 - 10:00 Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 (Consolation Game)

Game 8 - 12:00 Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 (Consolation Game)

Game 9 - 2:00 Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6 (Consolation Game)

Game 10 - 4:00 Winner Game 1 v. Winner Game 3 (Boys Championship)

Game 11 - 6:00 Winner Game 3 v. Winner Game 4 (Girls Championship)

Game 12 - 8:00 Winner Game 5 v. Winner Game 6 (Boys Championship)

I am so proud to continue CKA's working relationship with Paint Branch High School Athletics as a portion of the proceeds of the tournament supports both CKA'ss Senior Student-Athlete Scholarship Fund, as well as the student-athletes at Paint Branch High School.

This year's tournament provides a number of compelling match ups that should make for an exciting two days of basketball. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased in advance on our main webpage or at the door.

*CKA All Star Game*

The 3rd annual CKA SAVE Project Academic All Star Game to be played on *Monday March 14, 2016 at Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville, MD *with the Girls game beginning at 6pm followed by the Boys game at 8pm.

The CKA SAVE Project Academic All Star Game recognizes not only great athletic ability, but also hard work and dedication in the classroom and we hope you will consider participating. In addition, Proceeds from this event will go to support the CKA SAVE Project's Student-Athlete Scholarship Fund. We offer four $250 scholarships annually.

To be nominated a player must have:

- At least a 2.5 cumulative GPA (Documented through their unofficial transcript)

- Be a significant contributor on their team (Through either a
coach's or CKA scout's nomination)

We will host both a boy's and girl's game featuring some of the best student-athletes in the Mid-Atlantic region, with both public and private school players from the Mid-Atlantic Region.

*Past Participants in our game include:*

Aaron Briggs, Naval Academy
Karigan Awkward, Virginia Union
Jamaal Greenwood, St. Rose (NY)
Alexis Newbold, Catawba (NC)
Chris Grandy, Erskine (SC)
Daisa Harris, Harford CC
Matt Frierson, The Citadel
Diamond Douglas, U of Tampa
Ibrahim Kallon, Goucher (MD)

In all over 25 players from last year's games are playing college basketball this season on the Division I, II, III, Juco, or NAIA level.

*CKA Academic Scholarship*

The CKA SAVE Project Scholarship Award is open to any senior student athlete who has matched the following criteria:

- Played or managed at least 2 years on high school athletics

- Maintained a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5

- Completed at least one AP or IB class

- Have a minimum of 100 documented community service hours

If you would like an application please email for more information.

*Educational Research*

I am in the proposal stage of my research on college student-athlete motivation. My goal is to conduct research during the winter of 2016 and complete my dissertation by the spring of 2016. I want to thank the various colleges and universities who have agreed to assist me in conducting research on student-athlete motivation.

Thank you for your continued support of our organization. We are grateful for our past and excited for our future.

All the Best,
Keith Adams

Nov. 6

Keith Adams has been selected as one of the 10 recipients of the 2013 Dunkin Donuts Metropolitan Washington DC Region Community Hero Award! The Dunkin Donuts Community Hero Award is truly a celebration of those who impact, improve, and inspire our local community.

Dunkin Donuts searched the Washington DC Metro area for local community heroes, and received a nomination from John F. Kennedy High School Student Victor Batista and was selected based on this tribute.

"Not only does Mr. Adams work full time as a teacher to help motivate kids in the classroom, but he also takes his spare time to create this wonderful non-profit organization to help underperforming students who are also athletes to do better and succeed. I have worked with him and I have decided to also dedicate my time to be his intern because that's how inspiring his organization is to me. He does all he can to help students learn time management skills, organizational skills, and he teaches them to self-advocate. He doesn't just stop there; he also focuses on teachers by training them to build professional communities, organizational leadership, and helping students succeed using an athletic mindset. Before meeting Mr. Adams and working with his company, I never understood the impact that one man can do for countless teenagers. I am truly grateful to have crossed paths with Mr. Adams and the CKA SAVE Project organization because I wouldn't be where I am without it."

As part of this recognition, Mr. Adams will receive $500 and a coupon booklet which offers a free Dunkin Donuts Medium Hot Coffee and donut every week for a year!

Keith will be presented this special recognition on Tuesday December 3, 2013 at the Hilton Garden Inn-Homewood Suites Rockville-Gaithersburg. The ceremony will be from 10-12:30pm.

Please join us in congratulating Keith on receiving this outstanding honor.

July 3

Change is in the air.

First of all, I am no longer working for Hood College. I have enjoyed coaching college basketball for the last eight years, but the time has come for me to put more energy and focus to the CKA SAVE Project as well as my pursuit of my Doctorate. Another change is that I am separating my columns. The CKA SAVE Project updates and information can be found by clicking the CKA link at the top of the page. I will be writing more articles about CKA activities and posting them on that portion of the website.

Straight talk will remain the place that I provide my commentary on the issues of the day as well my individual ramblings.

In addition, over the next few weeks we will be activating the links portion of the website where we will have various links parents, teachers, students, community members, etc. can use for information.

The goal is to creating a consistent pattern by the start of the next school year in September.

The Miami Heat won their 2nd consecutive NBA championship. I am a big fan of LeBron James. I spent the 1980s hating Larry Bird because the Celtics kept beating the 76ers led by Dr. J (A side note, great special by NBA TV on Dr. J); it was only until late in his career that I appreciated his greatness. I spent the late 1980s and early 1990s hating Michael Jordan because he was not Len Bias. I only appreciated him after he won the title following his fahter's death. I am now at an age now where I appreciate skill, LeBron is probably the most physically gifted athlete in the league and he enjoys getting everyone involved. If his only crime is how he left Cleveland, he has served his time. We should simply sit back and enjoy.

The Aaron Hernandez murder trial is a very sad state for athletes everywhere. Unfortunately a young man has lost his life through a terrible crime, as well another young man losing his life through poor decision making. Mr. Hernandez will have his day in court, but again very sad and tragic situation for everyone involved.

That;s all for now, be easy and stay FLAM.

May 1

CKA SAVE Project News

Four years ago this week, the CKA SAVE Project was formed by a group of dedicated people with a desire to assist students and the people who work with them through educational and professional development.

Since that time we have:

1. Assisted students with time management, organizational skills and the ability to self-advocate.

2. Annually host two academic summer camps for underperforming and under supported students.

3. Worked with educators from over 40 states and 10 foreign countries on the topic of Helping Schools Succeed using an athletic mindset which promotes professional learning communities and higher levels of student accountability.

4. Hosted athletic events designed to showcase the balance between academics and athletics including basketball tournaments and coaches clinics.

5. Sponsored over 10 college visits to introduce students to higher education.

6. Sponsored student led business support ventures to help them gain experience in the work world.

And that is just the beginning.

During the month of May we are hosting our annual Capital Campaign where we are seeking to raise funds to continue our mission. Several times a week we will highlight a specific program or topic that we have done with the hopes you may join our support team.

Some examples include:

- $25 donation pays for a student to attend a college visit

- $30 donation pays for an amusement park trip

- $50 donation supports teacher initiated projects in the classroom

- $80 donation pays for a student to take an AP test

- $100 donation pays for a student to attend our summer academic camp

Please be reminded that the CKA SAVE Project, Inc. is a qualified non-profit under section 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions may qualify for charitable deductions on your income tax return.

Make all checks payable to: CKA SAVE Project, Inc. and mail to:

CKA SAVE Project
PO Box 9477
SilverSpring, MD 20916.
You can also donate online using your credit card at

Thank you again for everything you have done and continue to do for us.

All the Best,


February 25

CKA SAVE Project News


What an incredible start to the year. I don't know where to begin.

Our holiday basketball tournament was a tremendous success.

We are currently mentoring students in elementary, middle, high school as well as college.

We are in the final planning stages of our annual summer academic camps.

Our students are creating events to benefit the community at large.

In addition, we are seeking media credentials to begin interviewing student athletes on the collegiate level and professional athletes on the professional level.

Here is our upcoming schedule
- March 26,2013 CKA Student Sponsored College Visit to Towson
- April 2013 CKA Student sponsored movie trip to see 42.

May 1-31, 2013 CKA SAVE Project annual Capital Campaign

May 11, 2013 Third Annual CKA Night at the Baltimore Comedy Factory

June 8, 2013 Annual amusement park trip (Kings Dominion)

June 18-21, 2013 ASAP Camp for incoming high school students (at Kennedy HS)

July 21-24, 2013 Learning Forward Conference Presentation in Minneapolis, MN

August 5-8, 2013 Intro to AP Camp for first time AP students (at Kennedy HS)

Straight Talk

I am getting excited for the NCAA tournament and the opportunity to possibly cover some games and interview some student athletes on the impact being a student athlete has on their career.

The Wizards are winning their fair share of games. The Heat are on a fire (pardon the pun).

The combines are here and I do not really care. Call me when the draft hits.

This year's tournament is going to be wide open. I will not make a prediction until the brackets come out.

It''s officially WrestleMania season.

That's all for now.

Be Easy and Stay FLAM!

December 26

CKA SAVE Project News

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to present the 2012 CKA/Panther Holiday Invitational. The CKA/Panther Holiday Invitational is a 2-day tournament featuring some of the best teams from the state of Maryland.

Thanks to your support and generosity, the CKA SAVE Project continues to provide assistance to student athletes and the people who work with them through educational and professional development. Since 2009, we have strived to be a positive force in the community. Here is just a sampling of what were able to accomplish in 2012:

College Visits
- The University of Maryland's football staff allowed several of our student athletes to attend the Towson football game, in addition to receiving a tour of the facilities.

- We took over 30 students and parents to the University of Virginia for an in depth round table discussion, as well as a campus tour.

- We also partnered with John F. Kennedy High School to take over 230 9th grade students to Hood College for a college visit as a part of the class of 2016 Destination Graduation initiative.

Summer Academic Camp Updates
ASAP Camp (9th grade introduction to high school camp)

Every student who attended our ASAP camp not only retained their eligibility for the first marking period, but they also average a 2.6 grade point average as well.

Intro to AP Camp (1st time AP students)

Every student who attended our Intro to AP camp received an A or B during the first marking period in his or her first AP class.

This coming year we look to increase our footprint in both the academic and athletic community. Here is a sample of our upcoming events:

May 1-31, 2013 CKA SAVE Project annual Capital Campaign

May 11, 2013 Third Annual CKA Night at the Baltimore Comedy Factory

June 8, 2013 Annual amusement park trip (Kings Dominion)

June 18-21, 2013 ASAP Camp for incoming high school students (at Kennedy HS)

July 21-24, 2013 Learning Forward Conference Presentation in Minneapolis, MN

August 5-8, 2013 Intro to AP Camp for first time AP students (at Kennedy HS)

In conclusion, on behalf of the Board of Directors of the CKA SAVE Project as well as Paint Branch High School, we want to again welcome you to our tournament and your continued support of student athletes everywhere.

Tournament Game schedule
Wednesday December 26,2012
Game1 1:00 Girls Game Tuscarora V. BCC Barons

Game2 3:00 Boys Game Damascus V. Long Reach

Game3 5:00 Girls Game Urbana V. Paint Branch

Game4 7:00 Boys Game BCC Barons V. Paint Branch

Thursday December 27, 2012
Game5 1:00 Girls Consolation Game
Game6 3:00 Boys Consolation Game
Game7 5:00 Girls Championship Game
Game8 7:00 Boys Championship Game

A portion of the proceeds from this program as well as the overall tournament will go to the VFoundation for Cancer Research as well as the CKA SAVE Project Summer Academic Camps.

October 27

CKA SAVE Project News
This has been such an exciting time in the life of the CKA SAVE Project.

In September we had an opportunity to take some students to the University of Maryland to watch a football game thanks to the kindness of their staff.

We had close to 40 students visit the University of Virginia. It was an outstanding day.

We also partnered with John F. Kennedy High School to take over 230 9th grade students to Hood College for a college visit as a part of the class of 2016 Destination Graduation initiative.

In addition in partnership with John F. Kennedy High School we have begun several programs designed to assist the students, not only at John F. Kennedy High School but also students in the Silver Spring, MD area. We are working with students in their Entrepreneurship class to develop events that will benefit the John F. Kennedy High School Community. We have also acquired our first intern who will work 12 hours a week with the CKA SAVE Project to assist us in improving our community outreach.

In addition we arranged for the Dog Chef Kevyn Matthews to speak to over 50 of our Entrepreneurship students about finding their passion for business and how to prepare for life after high school.

We are very excited about the next few months. We are currently planning for our second annual Holiday Basketball Tournament as well as our annual Summer Camps.

The NBA season will soon be underway. If you are interested in attending a Wizards game please contact me at

In addition if you would like to inquire about our timeshare please contact us as well at

Straight Talk
I have been impressed with RG3. He has done a tremendous job this season. Teams are starting to separate themselves from the pact. The Giants, 49ers, Bears and Falcons are the elite teams in the NFC. In the AFC the Texans are the class of the AFC and everyone else is running a close second.

The World Series is taking place and it is hard to care about it. I did not grow up a baseball so good luck to the Tigers and the Giants.

The CKA Top 5
1. Alabama
2. Oregon
3. Florida
4. Notre Dame
5. Kansas State

No one cares about Hockey according to the ratings, so I do wish them well but they are at best the 5th best sport in the country.

I live on the east coast and we are preparing for a huge storm named Sandy. Please be safe.

Finally, the election is coming up, make sure everyone gets out and votes.

























































































































































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