Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Rising Stars College Signing Day Reinforces the Foundation's Emphasis on Education

Paul Savramis
Isiah Dickens, signed for Williams College
Isiah Dickens, signed for Williams College
Wednesday, June 5, 2024, was a special day for Rising Stars founder Paul Savramis. It was the day Rising Stars hosted its student-athletes at the new Rising Stars Athletic Complex to celebrate their official signing with the colleges they will be attending in the fall. 
For Paul Savramis, the date was a fond reminder of the Rising Stars mission established 28 years ago when the program began. "It was a simple mission then, and it remains a simple mission today," Paul Savramis said. "To promote education!" 
"You can read all about how we expected to do that," Paul Savramis continued. "Our pillars of Play, Learn, and Grow, utilizing the power of teams to bring our players to the path they need to follow, and so on, but," Savramis concluded, "it still all comes down to promoting education." 

Paul Savramis remembers how hard his coaches and support staff work to help create a caring atmosphere that allows the athletic components of Rising Stars to bridge the social and academic challenges of daily life in high school. "It was anything but easy," Savramis recalled. 
But on June 5th, the boys and girls who signed commitment letters reflected the original Rising Stars mission in the types of schools they chose. All of them were choosing institutions of higher learning, putting education first! 
"We are looking at high-academic schools like Tufts, Williams, Trinity College, NYU, and the University of Chicago," Paul Savramis said. 
Over the past 28 years, Rising Stars alumni have now attended every school in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), nicknamed the "Little Ivies" and considered among the highest-rated educational conferences in the country. "It's a thrill for me every time I hear a Rising Stars player's commitment to a NESCAC school," Paul Savramis proudly says. "This year, we even had a Rising Stars coach accept a position at Amherst!" 
That's not to say Rising Stars students don't represent the competitive aspect of the program's three pillars. Our players still take great pride in winning," Paul Savramis said. "It's the combination of academics and athletics that helps them navigate the difficulties of getting accepted to a great school." 
"When people ask me about all of the championships and all of the Rising Stars players who have gone on to play in the NBA or overseas, I like to reel it back in and remind them what stands out most in my mind, my personal hall of fame," Savramis continued. 
"I tell them about Rising Stars ambassador Jay Williams, turning down the number one pick in the draft after winning the national championship to return and graduate from Duke." 
"And then I tell them how history repeated itself this year with Rising Stars' Michael O'Connell graduating from Stanford in three years, then helping lead NC State on a legendary run to the 2024 Final Four!" 
Paul Savramis

That, Paul Savramis concluded, is what it's all about. "I hope the lessons Williams and O'Connell teach us and the choices made by our scholars this year are not lost on today's young athletes. The values they demonstrate are more important today than ever before."