BURLINGTON, N.C. – National Agents Alliance® President and CEO Andy Albright took time out of his schedule to meet with several Veritas Institute Sports Academy football players and coaches Monday during a luncheon.
Albright, who was a multi-sport athlete in high school, spent much of his time discussing the importance of educating yourself when given the opportunity and also spoke about having a strong work ethic.
“Find something you love, something that you’d do for free and work hard at it until you become successful,” said Albright, who was joined by other members of his National Agents Alliance team at the lunch. “Make it be something that you love so much that it doesn’t matter if you have to work 20 hours a day doing it. It’s something that you love doing so much it doesn’t bother you to work hard at it because you don’t care. It’s got to be that much fun that you want to do it.”
The academy gives players a chance to play junior college football after high school without having to travel to the Midwest or West Coast, where most of the country’s JUCO programs are located. While extending their football careers, the student-athletes attend classes at Guilford Technical Community College and earn credit toward an Associate of Arts degree. The football team consists of 26 players, mostly from area high schools. The mission of the academy is to help in developing student-athletes spiritually, socially, academically, emotionally and physically by providing a Christian education in a traditional, college-preparatory setting. Alan Hooker, the program’s athletic director and assistant coach, said the team could help up to 60 football players in a given season.
Hooker, who has 20 years of educational administration experience, was a four-sport letterman at Eastern Randolph High School and later played quarterback for North Carolina A&T State University, where he was a captain for four years and set 15 school passing records. He still holds nine school records and is still considered one of the top passers in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference history. He is a member of the N.C. A&T State University and MEAC halls of fame. He signed a free agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys, but was later released as one of the final cuts the team made. Hooker has also served as an educational consultant for North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
National Agents Alliance® hosted the luncheon as yet another way for Albright and the company to give back to the area. Cleveland Myles (Dunn), Leo Guevera (Moravian Falls) and Jahmal Kelly (Winston-Salem) were among the players in attendance. All three players were standouts for their respective high schools but needed time to improve their grades before moving up to a four-year program to play football. The Warriors are 3-1 this season and Albright congratulated the team on its successful start on behalf of National Agents Alliance®. The team defeated Oak Ridge Academy over the weekend.
Albright spent time speaking with each young man to find out what each would like to do professionally and then offered suggestions and advice as they look to securing their personal and professional goals.
Albright, who started National Agents Alliance® in 2002, talked in great detail about having strong faith, a steadfast work ethic and reading at least something every day.
Myles, a defensive tackle who wants to major in business, asked Albright about National Agents Alliance® and then shared his thoughts on the Veritas Institute Sports Academy program.
“We are getting a lot of life skills and instruction and a lot of love from Coach Hooker and Coach (Jim) Beck,” Myles said. “A big family … that would sum it all up. I’m making a lot of friends. Just the people we get to meet … It’s been great.”
Albright also discussed his book, “The 8 Steps to Success” and made sure the coaches and players left with several copies.
Albright left the players with one more thought before ending the meeting.
“You know how to know a man needs encouragement?” Albright asked calmly. The players looked at each other and waited for Albright’s response. “He’s breathing.”
The players thought about it and quickly got Albright’s point. After thanking Albright and National Agents Alliance® for their time, the group adjourned.