“Success is not an accident, success is actually a choice.” This quote from basketball All-Star Stephen Curry shares how valuable the fundamentals of sports can be to not just the game itself, but to life.”
Through a similar belief, Jonte Wells founded Greater Purpose Athletics as a program and community for young athletes to not only improve their athletic abilities, but to develop their life skills in the process.
“I genuinely believe that athletes can learn valuable life lessons through sports,” shared Jonte. “Based on this belief, I chose to create Greater Purpose Athletics as an organization for athletes to develop a greater purpose beyond their athletic abilities.”
Founded in 2021 just outside of Chicago, Greater Purpose Athletics is a 12,000 sq. ft. multi-sport training facility boasting a full-size basketball court, three shooting stations with 7 hoops total, a weight room, open turf, recovery room and many other amenities to provide the city’s youth with training opportunities.
Built with an emphasis on basketball training, the facility offers members dedicated staff and trainers to help them elevate their skills.
But the development of athleticism in basketball is just a component of what the facility has to offer.
“It’s always been my passion to help these young athletes and kids. A lot of them put a lot on their shoulders with basketball,” shared Jonte. “They often feel like basketball is everything, and forget that there’s life after it.”
Having grown up playing basketball competitively, Jonte saw firsthand how intoxicating the sport can be. His passion for basketball carried him through collegiate programs and he received a scholarship for his skills and recognition for his abilities, but never lost sight of his visions for a future beyond basketball.
“I was fortunate enough to know that I would one day need to pivot my purpose,” reflected Jonte. “Basketball was something I loved, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t going to pay my bills.”
The reality is, an infinitesimal amount of basketball players can transform their skills into a paycheck.
Though it is not impossible to generate a salary from basketball, it is incredibly challenging and the odds are not in the favor of the masses.
Recognizing this from an early age, Jonte developed his basketball skills in tandem with real-world experience that would help him establish a career once the glory days on the court came to an end.
“Even while I was still in college playing basketball, I began my first business,” explained Jonte. “I started flipping houses and doing real estate, and once my college days were over, I began doing that year-round.”
Today, the entrepreneur has expanded his empire to include more than home development and real estate projects. The serial entrepreneur owns multiple businesses in the Chicagoland area and has experienced success that would have otherwise not been afforded to him had he set his sights simply on basketball.
What makes Jonte’s story so beautiful is that it was basketball and the fundamentals of athletics that shaped him into who he is today.
Based on his belief, he founded Greater Purpose Athletics as an organization that can use a beloved sport to shape young members of the community into the leaders that will drive the world forward in the future.
Studies show that sports development and athletics shape much more than just lay-up and shooting skills. 88% of parents share that team sports help improve their child’s physical health, with 73% sharing that it improves mental health. Students in sports have decreased risks of developing harmful habits including cigarette smoking, and unhealthy eating, while increasing test scores and the likelihood of participating in postsecondary education.
Children who have participated in sports are more likely to earn a higher income, avoid fewer illnesses, and develop stronger life skills including time management, teamwork, and discipline.
By incorporating these fundamentals into Greater Purpose Athletics, Jonte has created a training facility that not only improves the basketball skills of its members, but the life skills they will take with them into the future.
“This is something I’ve been passionate about for a while now,” shared Jonte. “Since college, I knew I was going to have a facility, the biggest challenge I ran into was where it would be.”
The inspiring entrepreneur and change-maker spent close to two years scouring Chicago in an effort to find the perfect location to turn his vision into a reality.
“I grew up on the West Side of Chicago, and what I really wanted to create was an opportunity for kids in the area that I didn’t have growing up. I wanted something on the West Side, but the longer I looked the less I found,” he recalled. “Two years after beginning my search, I found the land that we’ve built Greater Purpose Athletics on.”
The location, situated outside of Chicago’s core, is easily accessible by public transportation for those coming from the city while also appealing to young athletes in the surrounding suburbs. Members are offered training programs, coaching, health and wellness advice, and the ability to be part of a powerful community.
A little over two months old, Greater Purpose Athletics has already created a positive and lasting impact on the members and their families who’ve joined.
“The biggest thing so far is the number of parents that have come up to me and thanked me. I wouldn’t have thought there would be that big of a need, but they’ve been so thankful that something like this has opened up in the area,” shared Jonte.
Pulling on his personal connection with professional athletes, Jonte has brought in inspirational individuals to speak and share their stories with the young athletes involved with Greater Purpose Athletics.
In the months and years to come, Jonte has plans to add life-skill building programs and courses to the facility, including the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and business management, how to create confidence, and many other life skills that will take the players beyond the future confines of the court.
Based on the words of Stephen Curry, these athletes are given the opportunity to create success, and it is their choice to take it.
Discover Jonte Wells Greater Purpose Athletics organization and learn how it will shape the youth of today into the leaders of tomorrow.
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