To help disadvantaged children in New York avoid the detrimental influences of poverty and achieve their full potential.


No matter the individual circumstances a person is born into, everybody deserves to be presented with the best opportunity to shine. That’s why at Young Athletes Inc, we are committed to youth development in underprivileged communities. Our out-of-school time programs provide an equal opportunity for children to excel, no matter how limiting their living situations may be.

Located in the Bronx, New York, this nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization was co-founded in 1997 by former NBA players Rod Strickland and Steve Burtt with their former youth coach LaMarre Dyson. In 1998, Strickland and Dyson added a Bronx playground summer basketball league to enhance YAI’s training. The league garnered additional support from NBA All-Star, Kyrie Irving, in 2014, followed by world-renowned athletic brand Nike in 2016. This heightened backing increased the opportunity available for budding ballplayers to gain skills and recognition on the field.

We set the students who attend our extracurricular activities up for success, concentrating on three critical pillars of sports, education, and community. Our focus is on individuals in their formative years, covering ages six through eighteen throughout their schooling careers.

We take an open-arms approach, embracing students from all walks of life and a wide array of home situations without judgment. We intend to highlight and develop our students’ strengths with a passionate focus on nurturing their potential. We take our commitment to youth empowerment seriously, emphasizing that an investment in our youth is an investment in our country’s future.

Young Athletes Inc gears our programs towards promoting health and physical fitness, academic growth, self-discipline, leadership skills, and self-sufficiency. Most of our programming takes place in the Bronx, the home city of one of our founders, Rod Strickland, where the child poverty rate stands almost 15% higher than the rest of the city at 40.1 percent. However, youth and their parents throughout the New York tri-state area are always welcome to participate in our programs.

The coaching and instruction we provide are merely the supporting structure to equip our youth with the chance to thrive as we foster self-confidence and belief in themselves and their skills. Going beyond after-school time programs, we focus on building a community centered on creating a solid support system for pupils even after completing the program. Simply put, we walk a lifelong journey with the students who become our family, and those who have participated in the program take pride in paying it forward, often returning to YAI to give back to the next generation.

Seeing the youth who complete our programs fulfill their true potential is what brings us purpose and fulfillment. We dedicate ourselves to enhancing New York’s society, helping its most vulnerable citizens avoid the detrimental influences of poverty.

YAI undertakes to create a haven for New York’s youth to receive social, educational, and athletic assistance through the programs we develop. We remain dedicated to creating an environment where the youth we serve can gain access to an educational and uplifting experience that impacts them for life.