2016 Summer Series

Week One

June 9, 2016


This past week was a tremendous success for all involved at NeXT Basketball Foundation’s first summer session of the year. It was great to watch 61 kids competing, learning and growing at Upper Arlington High School.I would like to thank Upper Arlington’s Mens head coach, Tim Casey for once again being such a gracious host. Thanks Case.


From a basketball perspective, legendary Ohio State point guard Scoonie Penn displayed why he was such a great player by demonstrating different ball handling drills/skills for the kids to work on. We have a saying at NeXT that if you can’t handle the ball you don’t play. Ball handling, no matter the size of the player, is an important factor if you want to grow in the game of basketball.


Scoonie Penn Week 1


Scoonie Penn



Our first championship game was a success as well, with the Milwaukee Bucks going 5-0 and beating the Portland Trailblazers in the championship game 7-3. The main reason the Bucks were so successful is because they didn’t turn the ball over, they moved without the ball and they took quality shots – they played great “D” as well. All of those items are needed if you want to win consistently, no matter the level of basketball. Congrats Bucks. Well Done!



Summer Series Week 1


L-R: Jake, Jayson, Kade, James, Devin, Peyton


Lastly, the talk Roy Hall gave to our group epitomizes what NeXT is all about; why our foundation was created. Our “why” is your child’s future. Youth basketball is just the bait. Aiding each parent in developing a young person, a future adult, in becoming a person of significance is the ultimate goal.


One father sent these words to me via an email: Just a quick note to tell you Noah had an awesome time last night. He was really inspired by Roy Hall and the message he delivered. If you would please let Roy know that his words impacted at least 1 child (of course I’m sure there were more… But u get the point) I’d be appreciative.


That is powerful.


If we make others first we’re on our way to becoming significant. Roy did that last Thursday.


Roy was tremendous as usual as he spoke to over a 100 parents/kids this past week. His message was centered upon the three types of people he is most familiar with: people who surrender, people who do just enough to survive and those who live a life of significance.


Personally, I lived at those first two address at different times in my life – especially the second address of survival. More than a few years ago I decided I didn’t want to lead a life other than one that was significant… and then came NeXT.


One of my goals was to develop young people through this process. What I’ve come to learn is that it’s me that is being developed. Roy reminded me last week that as a 51 year old man I too can lead a life of significance. It’s not too late.


I want to lead a life of significance… with all my flaws, faults and failings I want to press on to something bigger, better than me. Significance starts with serving others.


I want to lead a life of significance… with all my flaws, faults and failings I want to press onto something bigger, better than me. Significance starts with serving others.


Thanks Roy for making such a positive impression on everyone in the gym, including me.




Week One Photo Gallery

Week Two

June 16, 2016


The 2nd week of the NeXT Basketball Summer Series was fantastic from a participation, competition and learning standpoint. This week we had over 63 players compete on 12 different teams in our weekly shirts/skins competition.


It was wonderful to watch.


Each week our efforts are divided into three distinctive categories: ball handling, 5 on 5 team competition, and encouragement.


This week Pia Ulmenberg from Germany coached our players in the area of ball handling. Pia was a member of the Junior National team in Germany earlier in her career. She has been playing basketball in Europe and the United States since her early teens. Pia is currently an au pair in Bexley.


Summer Series Week 2


Pia Ulmenberg


As I mentioned last week (and every time we’re together as a group) if you can’t handle the ball you don’t get to play. No matter the size of the player or the high level of skill in another area, it’s imperative each player learns how to be strong with the ball in his/her hands. I hate turnovers, and the better a player can handle the ball the fewer turnovers he/she will have.


Thanks Pia!


Our second championship game was a success as well, with the Houston Rockets going 5-1 and beating the Cleveland Cavaliers (5-1) 7-4 after being down 3-1 to begin the game. Mikey McCollum scored 5 of his teams 7 points. Congrats Rockets – way to fight back and not give up. Well Done!




L-R: Ben, James, Coach Beals, Kellan, Will, Mikey 


Lastly, we as a group were privileged to have another great speaker this week in coach Greg Beals of the Ohio State Men’s Baseball team.


Coach Beals was tremendous last Thursday night.


His message of being in the moment, being self-aware of your skill and how it fits within the framework of your team, being a great teammate and preparing in an elite manner were great reminders for everyone and are without a doubt some of the keys to success.




Coach Greg Beals (OSU baseball)



In the end, none of these elements/traits require skill. All that is required by each individual is decision to have a great attitude and a willingness to put team before I.


As Coach Beals stated: You win with people.


I couldn’t agree more.


Thanks coach for your words of wisdom and encouragement.




Week Two Photo Gallery

Week Three

June 23, 2016


Week three is in the books and the improvement in toughness, IQ and competitiveness over this time period has been tremendous; fun to watch.  Week three was also our largest group to date with over 72 kids in attendance.  That is awesome!


Below is a quick reminder of why we do what we do at NeXT. 


NeXT 4x6 6.9.16 


“Be a person of significance”



It’s a proven fact that what we say to ourselves repeatedly (self talk)  and what we write down on paper in the way of goals and dreams is who we will become.  The words – great and positive words – we speak into our lives and the lives of others will most often come to fruition and be realized.  This young man now knows what it means to be a person of significance. Today he has begun the journey towards being significant.  I can’t adequately express how powerful that is.  This is what youth sports should be about.


Let’s move on.


I want to send out a special thanks to Pia Ulmenberg for “handling” our ball handling skills session again this week.  Remember, and I will say it every week: “If you can’t handle the ball you don’t get to play.”  When I watch the games it easy to recognize who is putting in the time working on ball handling and who isn’t.


Don’t cheat yourself.  Go get better.  Start today.


Pia ND3_1922


Pia Ulmenberg



Again, big thanks to Pia for another great effort in aiding our players in becoming better ball handlers. 


Now to our third NeXT Shirts/Skins championship game.  As many of you saw we had a little mix up on the tie breaker between the Wittenberg and Ohio State teams this past week.  Both teams finished 4-1 with Wittenberg winning the tie breaker because they gave up the fewest amount of points in their 5 games – we reward defense at NeXT.  With that being said, I made the mistake of having both 4-1 teams play in the Championship game not realizing that one of the teams wasn’t the 5-0 Syracuse team.


The good thing about this situation is that it provided a learning situation for everyone involved.




(L-R): Luke, Aiden, Taylor, Trey, Ben  & “Big” Doug Worthington (Syracuse)



The bottom line is often times things will not go our way.  Mistakes will be made that will present us with unfortunate circumstances and unwanted feelings.  People will always fail us and cause us pain. But the true lesson isn’t that people will make mistakes on our behalf, the important lesson to be learned is that we can control how we handle our setbacks.  Our attitude is the number one determining factor in moving past pain and experiencing our fullest potential.  We can’t control the event, but we can control how we perceive the event.  People with great attitudes become great leaders.


The choice is ours.


I want to congratulate the Syracuse team for not making it about themselves when they realized they wouldn’t be playing in the championship game, and the OSU team (Jackson Mikola, Tripp McCoy, Jake Russell and the others) for accepting the fact that they as well wouldn’t be in the championship game.  In the end, both teams passed the test. Both teams were champions. 


Lastly, I wanted to thank Doug Worthington for his encouraging words.  The selflessness and character Doug displayed by speaking to a group of kids and their parents days after being cut from The Los Angeles Rams – his dream job –  was motivating and inspiring.


Doug will be on an NFL teams rooster opening Sunday later this year.  Mark my word.




“It’s the little things” – Doug Worthington



And speaking of words, Doug’s words of encouragement and wisdom were powerful as he highlighted the importance of doing the “little things” in life if you want to be successful.  It will be our work ethic, our attitude and how we handle the small details in our lives that will separate us from our peers and send us towards our destiny.  My favorite line in Doug’s speech was this: “Everything counts and it counts right now.”  It’s about being intentional in our pursuit of significance.


At the end of the day, the little things is about self discipline and hard work.  I can’t make any simpler than that.


Thanks Doug for your words of encouragement and wisdom.







Week Three Photo Gallery

Week Four

June 30, 2016


Week four of the NeXT Basketball Summer Series was tremendous. We had our largest attendance in the two year history of our summer program with 82 young men engaging in high level skill training, competition and leadership mentoring.







Four the fourth week in a row our ball handling skill session was a success too as Coach Tim Casey – UA Men’s Head Basketball Coach – had two of his players from this upcoming season display different ball handling drills. Each drill carried with it the mission of aiding each player in becoming more skilled with the basketball in his hands. The great benefit of the drills that were displayed and taught this past week – and every week – is that each player can work on these at home in their driveway or basement. I say it every week: if you can’t handle the ball you won’t get to play. Working on your game starts with putting in the time working on your ball handling skills.





Justin, Coach Casey & Casey


NeXT to our weekly Shirts/Skins championship game. The effort this week by all teams was terrific but the play by Arizona was fantastic as they finish 6-0 in week four. These young men perfectly displayed moving without the basketball, help defense and getting open looks. They also limited their turn overs and played with high level of energy and effort. Congrats to all six of the young men. Way to separate yourself from the pack.





L-R: Dallas, Carter, Reed, Katilyn, (?) Jeb, Troy



Lastly, I want to share the 4×6 notecard I received from Aiden Eberhardt after week four:



” The lady in the wheelchair last week taught us to never give up when things are hard and to do something in life you love. Also, follow your faith.”


That lady Aiden was referring to was Kaitlyn Staten. Kaitlyn is a 23 year old women that was ejected through her sunroof – she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt – during a single car accident on December 2, 2011. She shared with the audience that she was speeding and hit a patch of ice and lost control of her car. Her car flipped over and over repeatedly and ejected her 75 feet from her car. Katilyn was on her way to school. She was a senior at Jonathan Alder at the time of the accident. 


These are the the words I wrote on my blog on January 5, 2011:


Last month on December the 2nd it was a special day in the Bailey house. December 2, 1995 was when my son Bryce Coleman Bailey came into the world. He arrived with so much promise and so much “praise”. Everyone that saw and held him immediately fell in love with him. So last month when he turned fifteen it was a special day. I might add, Bryce hasn’t done one thing to disappoint those who love him and care for him.


In a word, Bryce is exceptional.


So as the Bailey family began its day like most other days, with Reese in her highchair and Ryan drinking his milk, I texted “Champ” on his way to school to wish him happy birthday and tell him that I loved him very much.


About that same time my wife and I noticed a news report on channel 10 (WBNS) that there had been a single car accident in Hilliard involving a young girl that was throw threw the sunroof of her car. I immediately said a prayer and thanked God for protecting my children all the days that they have been on this earth.


The prayer was one born out of concern and fear; concern for that young girl and the fear that could be one of my six children someday.


As I moved through my morning with my day’s purpose and agendas staring at me I received an email at 10:22am that read: Please pray for Kaitlyn Staten, teenage daughter of Dave and Linda, who was in a serious car accident this morning. She was transported to Grant Hospital.  No other details are known at this time. Pray for her and the family.


Moments later my cell phone rang and my mother said that Dave’s daughter was in a accident. The accident they reported this morning on the news.


I couldn’t speak.


My mother and father have been friends with the Staten’s for over fourteen years. They attend Cypress Wesleyan Church and are the proud parents of “seven” children; Kaitlyn is their second to youngest child and she is their youngest daughter.


She is an angel.



KS June 1 2016 DSC_0079


Katilyn Staten


To this day I still believe Kaitlyn to be an angel.


Kaitlyn is a rare person that has the ability to make you smile when you see her and encourage you when you listen to her speak. Her message that day was pretty simple: Don’t feel sorry for me because in all things God strengthens me – “I will walk again!” Kaitlyn understands that life isn’t fair but she wastes no time living underneath that troubling premise. She believes that you become victorious in life when you follow your faith not your fears.


She realizes that life is bigger than her needs, wants and desires. Her purpose in life is to encourage others too never give up and to trust in God in all things. It was amazing to watch and listen to her speak. You literally could hear a pin drop.


Take a listen. it was powerful.







Week Five

July 7, 2016


Welcome to the NeXT Basketball Summer Series week five recap. Like the previous four weeks NeXT experienced high numbers with over 72 kids competing, learning and being encouraged. 


Thanks to Coach Kevin Martin (Johnstown Men’s Basketball) for challenging all of our competitors to work hard in the area of ball handling.  Kevin won a state championship in basketball his senior year at Westerville North.  He then went on to be a standout at UNC Asheville.  


He was selected to the All-Decade team in the Big South conference two tears ago.  


During his time with NeXT this past week coach Martin pointed out repeatedly the importance of working on this part of the game every day if you want to separate yourself from your competition and peers. Whether it’s in the basement, drive way or a hot gym in the summer it’s imperative you put in the work.  Like Scoonie said, “hard work never killed anyone.”  Some listening ears from this past week will put this truth into practice, and many of us will see the fruits of their labor during the upcoming winter season.  Getting better starts today.


Competitors repeat this process every 24 hours.





Coach Martin against Kentucky (1996)


Kevin Martin B9319944405Z.1_20151203021109_000_GELCO6PSI.1-0


Coach Martin (Johnstown)



NeXT to our weekly Shirts/Skins championship game.  Congrats to this weeks champs as they finish 5-0.  Special congrats to Troy M. & Carter M. who won back to back championships.  Troy and Carter played on the same team two weeks in a row and went 11-0 over that span of time. It was also James H. and Jayson I. second championship of the season as well.  That is awesome.  Congrats to all six of the young men for winning a championship this week. Way to separate yourself from the competition.



Scoonie IMG_0097


L-R: Ben, OP, Carter, Troy, Scoonie, James & Jayson



Lastly, a big thanks to Scoonie Penn for sharing his words of encouragement to our kids on his 9th wedding anniversary.  Special thanks to Mrs. Penn for sharing your husband with us on your special day.  He left an unforgettable positive impression on everyone in the gym.  Scoonie is/was a winner on the court and he’s a champion off the court.  His words of wisdom centered upon sacrifice, dedication and hard work challenged and motivated all that had the great fortune to listen to him speak.  


Scoonie’s message was a great way to end week five at NeXT.








Week Six

July, 14, 2016


Welcome to the NeXT Basketball Summer Series week six recap. 


This week we had the special honor and privilege to receive ball handling instruction from not one but “3” Sullivan brothers. All three Sullivan brothers played high school basketball at Upper Arlington HS.


All three played college basketball as well. 


Sullivan 1-d36b3a3825

Chris Sullivan just finished his sixth year coaching at Denison University.


Chris started his collegiate basketball career at Franklin and Marshall University playing for the winningest coach in the history of Division III basketball, Glenn Robinson. After his freshman season, Sullivan transferred to Wittenberg University and as a junior was named second-team All-NCAC. In his third year, Sullivan tied the Wittenberg all-time season mark for three-point field-goals made in a season (90) and finished sixth in the nation with 3.2 three-point field-goals made per game.


During his senior campaign, Sullivan led the nation in three-pointers per game (4.1) and set the Wittenberg and NCAC record for three-pointers made in a season (120). He was named first-team All-NCAC, first-team All-Great Lakes Region, and was selected to the D3hoops.com All-America team. Sullivan graduated from Wittenberg in 2011 with a degree in Sport Management.


Kevin Sullivan just completed his second season as assistant coach for the Kenyon College Lords basketball team. Prior to his hiring, Sullivan assisted the men’s basketball program at Defiance College, where the Yellow Jackets compiled a 20-6 record in the 2013-14 season and were co-champions of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.


Before getting his coaching career underway, Sullivan attended DePauw University and played three seasons of basketball for the Tigers and their head coach Bill Fenlon. After coming off an injury that forced him to miss his sophomore season, Sullivan, a guard, played in 24 games as a junior, scored 120 points, and dished out 32 assists. As a senior, he was named team captain, played in 17 games, shot .536 on three-point attempts, and averaged 8.8 points per game. In his three seasons with the program, Sullivan helped the Tigers post a combined 49-31 record. Kevin graduated from DePauw in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in education studies and a concentration in interpersonal and rhetoric communication.


Brian Sullivan, the youngest Sullivan brother, is the second best shooter in Davidson Basketball History behind two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry. In just three years at Davidson, Brian ranks second behind Curry in Single Season 3-pointers made (99) and Career 3-pointers made (271). Prior to Davidson, Brian was named to the All-MAC Freshman team and set a Miami (OH) record for Single Season 3-pointers made by a freshman (79). For his career, Brian has scored over 1,500 points and made 351 threes. Brian graduated this past spring from Davidson.


Please check out their website at www.sullivanhoops.com and follow them on Instagram. As I mentioned earlier, it was a honor and privilege to have such a talented group of brothers give of their time to aid our kids in becoming better ball handlers. Thanks guys.


NeXT week 6 IMG_0075


L-R: Samuel, Jake, Mikey, KJ, Ryan, Steffan & Lawerence FunderburkeTeam Indiana



NeXT to our weekly Shirts/Skins championship game. Congrats to this weeks champs – Indiana Hoosiers –  as they finish 5-0. Special congrats to Mikey M for winning his second championship and to Ryan B. for being in his fifth championship game. Great job guys!


Lastly, I want to thank Lawerence Funderburke, 8 year NBA veteran and OSU standout, for sharing his personal and powerful message.


Lawrence is perhaps best know for his exploits on the basketball court at The Ohio State University and in the NBA, but his heart has always gravitated to helping people fulfill their God-given potential, personally, educationally, professionally, and financially. The magna cum laude graduate in Business Finance and dean’s list student at OSU was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 1994. He played professional basketball for 11 years, eight in the NBA and three overseas. He brings with him over 25 years of experience and world-class knowledge in sports-specific training, and more than 15 years as a personal development specialist. He is Founder and President of the Lawrence Funderburke Youth Organization (www.LFYO.org). Lawrence is a committed father, husband, certified financial planner, and philanthropist. He makes it his life’s mission to bridge the wealth gap in America through his trademarked Mr. Fundy’s Financial Life Skills Playbook. He’ll start here in Central Ohio first, one person and family at a time.


Lawrence Funderburke and his wife Monya started a fitness and financial planning venture in Gahanna called Fundermax Fitness studio on June 26, 2015. (Dispatch photo by Kyle Robertson)

Lawrence Funderburke and his wife Monya started a fitness and financial planning venture in Gahanna called Fundermax Fitness studio on June 26, 2015. (Dispatch photo by Kyle Robertson)



Lawerence and his wife Monya, also have founded FunderMax Fitness which carries with it the task of providing youth and adults from different life experiences with a holistic approach to healthy living and financial empowerment. FunderMax Fitness offer an array of classes and programs to fit the stay-at-home mom, on-the-go dad, soon-to-be entrepreneur, up-and-coming professional, and even the too-cool-for-you teenager. Their approach encompasses much more than motivational workouts and financially beneficial information. It’s about equipping people to incorporate a daily lifestyle dedicated to maximizing their full potential, of which physical and financial fitness are mere reflections of that driving goal. 


LF 1668925


Lawerence Funderburke – Sacramento Kings



As you will soon see/hear Lawerence’s personal story of poverty, loss and ultimate success was tremendous. Lawrence reminded all of us that success is not a resting place but a journey. Again, thank you Lawerence for spending time with NeXT, and for motivating/challenging us to pursue excellence daily.







Week Seven

July 21, 2016


Welcome to the Next Basketball Summer Series week seven recap.


Two words: Choose Better.


Those were the words of the Men’s Head Basketball Coach at Denison University, Bob Ghiloni. His message was challenging and inspirational.


Coach Ghiloni was also our skills coach in the area of ball handling. Coach introduced the same drill the San Antonio Spurs do almost every day in practice: One More. The drill is great because it introduces and reinforces the need to reverse the ball without a dribble to gain an open/good look from an open teammate. An open look (uncontested shot) is better than a contested shot. One More is about making that extra pass. The drill is about be unselfish and giving yourself up for the good of your team. Coach’s drill is great for instilling team basketball and is a tremendous metaphor for life – give yourself up for the good of those around you. It easy to say but hard to do.


Coach Ghiloni July 2016


Coach Bob Ghiloni – Denison University 


NeXT to our Shirts/Skins champion this week, the Wittenberg Tigers. It’s only fitting that with the head coach of Denison speaking that Witt would be the champions. Team Witt’s effort was tremendous, it was unselfish and it was relentless as they went 5-0 in there championship run.


NeXT Week 7 Champs


L-R: Kyle, Gavin, Harrison, Vitaly, Kaden & Coach Ghiloni


At the opening of this piece I highlighted two words: Choose Better.


Coach Ghiloni reminded us that we have a choice everyday to get better. We will either get worse or better.  There is no option to remain the same.  The good news is the choice is ours.  We can choose better.  The inspiring stories coach Ghiloni shared about Darrius McLean from Walnut Ridge and Coach (Life Coach) Kevin Touhey were difficult to hear but encouraging because these two individuals chose better. In life we need models of good behavior, transformative behavior. We need examples of people Like Darrius Mccain and Kevin Touhey that choose better so we can be encouraged to do the same.




Darrius McLain

“If there was ever a kid to make an excuse to not choose better it’s Darrius McLain” – Coach Ghiloni


Thanks coach Ghiloni for sharing your message and providing such great examples of people who didn’t give up and chose better. Don’t complain, choose better!







Week Seven Photo Gallery

Week Eight

July 28, 2016


Welcome to final weekly recap of the 2016 NeXT Summer Series.


Before I begin I want to share with everyone my deepest appreciation for allowing me to share my views on basketball and life with your sons over the summer.  I don’t take lightly the time and money you invested in what we’re trying to accomplish at NeXT. They’re a million different schedules and ways for your boys to invest their time and the fact that they – and you as parents – choose to give NeXT two hours a week for eight weeks means a lot to me.  It was a great honor to become aquatinted with all of you and your families.


Again, thank you.


 NeXT week 8 Jenis DSC_0017 copy


A Picture Is Worth 1200 Pairs Of Shoes


The final week went perfectly unplanned and our scheduled was perfectly altered. Many of you will remember that we had to begin 30 minutes later due to the Upper Arlington volleyball camp.  There was a scheduling conflict that wasn’t communicated.  I’m glad it happen.  The reason for my pleasure in starting late was that it gave our boys a chance to see what helping others look like.


This is called an assist in basketball.


I’m very proud to announce that we as group were able to provide a little over 1200 pairs of shoes to the Soles4Souls organization in Nashville, TN.  Below are the words from their team after our donation:


NeXT Basketball Foundation & others,

Soles4Souls cannot thank each and every one of you enough for all of your hard work and dedication. It has truly been inspiring to see this community come together!

Thank you so much for making a difference and helping us Wear Out Poverty!!!


Youth sports can be more than an athletic pursuit. Youth sports has the potential to produce a profound experience and create transformative change in the lives of millions.  Together we took a step towards that goal this summer.


NeXT to our Shirts/Skins champions for the last time in 2016. This week the championship was one by Team UNC Asheville.  They finished the night 5-1.  Job well done!


Next week 8 DSC_0112


Team UNC Asheville: Devin, (?), Ryan, Jackson & Kade


Also, I would like to recognize the 7 young competitors that won multiple championships.  Each one of these guys competed in multiple championship games and each won “two” championships.


Next multiple champs DSC_0116


L-R: Jayson, Devin, Jackson, Me, Mikey, Troy, Kade & Ryan (James H. & Carter M. – not pictured) 


Lastly, I came across these words my son Ryan wrote in the spring of 2014.  He was in forth grade and his project was to write down ten “Things I Want To Do Before College.” Below are the words Ryan wrote:


1.Be awesome
2.Try almond butter
3.Get awesome friends
4.Remember about my past
5.Buy a mansion
6.Play football
7.Play basketball
8.Get a cat & dog
9.Get a flat screen TV
10. Road trip to California – Hollywood


Ryan William “Awesome”



Ryan & Addison – Spring 2014


As I completed re-reading my son’s words I realized I had just read something precious and priceless.  There could be no email, bank statement, or letter that could move my heart more than his words.  I loved my son’s list except for the cat.  There will be no cat in the Bailey household.  Anyway, I believe it’s my responsibility to aid my children in having an awesome childhood.  The key is to point out what is truly awesome.


My goal is to teach him that the house he grows up in during his childhood can become a mansion in his heart, and that true definition of awesome is not centered on material items or experiences, but the relationships we develop and cultivate with each other and God.  Everything in life is built on the foundation of relationship.  Life is relational.  To this end, the goal I have for my children are the same goals I have for every child that participates in NeXT. When they experience NeXT I want them to experience awesome.  It won’t be without difficulty, but nothing long lasting and meaningful occurs without challenge and hard work.


I hope this summer your child’s experience was awesome.


I hope I aided your efforts as parents in sharing with your children the tremendous responsibility that goes along with playing team sports, and that it’s a privilege and honor to participate in a competitive battle.  I hope I introduced to the over 85 kids that competed this summer that competition is to be respected.


Fyodor Dostoevsky said, “the soul is healed by being with children.” I agree. Children are special.


Their thoughts and words have the ability to aid them in dreaming big. They also carry with them the ability to encourage others.  I’m encouraged that Ryan wants to experience “awesome” in his life.  I was also encouraged by your children this summer. To read many of their words throughout the summer brought me to tears more than a few times.  Many times you will hear say to your son that “I appreciate” them.  


I say that because I do.  


They have no idea how much they encourage me to be a better man and to make NeXT as awesome as humanly possibly. I really do appreciate each and everyone of them.


Thanks again and remember… We All Got NeXT.