The Student Program for Academic & Athletic Transitioning (SPAAT) hosted its 5th Annual ESPY Awards on June 10 to celebrate the academic and athletic achievements of Oakland’s student-athletes.
Almost more than 300 guests grooved to the the sounds of the Minor F Jazz Quartet on the red carpet as students and their family members were greeted by Montera Middle School Cheerleaders.
Title Sponsor Blue Shield of California and Kimberley Goode of the Black Employee Network partnered with SPAAT to award $20,000 in academic scholarships. Both Male and Female High School Student Athletes of the Year, Oakland Tech’s Jada Delaney and Fremont High’s Antonio Faaeteete are now $5000 richer after being recognized at the annual Oakland ESPY Awards celebration. Each OAL All Academic Team award winner also walked away with a $1000 Blue Shield scholarship.
“We strive to teach our students that you must work as hard in the classroom, as you do in your field of play and each year we see Oakland student athletes raise the bar,” said Harold Pearson, Executive Director of SPAAT. “Thanks to Blue Shield of California, the Oakland Promise and NFL Executive Kevin Winston, we were able to take it the next level and provide students with the financial assistance needed for them to pursue their higher education dreams.”
In memory of SPAAT student Darryl Aikens, who passed away in 2017 from cancer just weeks year after graduating from McClymonds High School, SPAAT Partnered with the Oakland Promise to present the first annual Darryl Aikens Memorial Scholarship. The $1000 awarded to Jamiana Akinjo, a fellow SPAAT graduate who is headed to UCLA in the fall.
Among those who attended were local celebrities including former Oakland Raider Legend, Kenny Shedd, Skyline High graduate and NBA Hall of Famer, Gary Payton and Skyline graduate and former Major League Baseball All-Star, Bip Roberts. Oakland City Councilwoman, Lynette Gibson McElhaney, Pac-12 executives, Will Hunter and David Colemen came to celebrate the students, as well. There were also representatives from the Oakland A’s and former OAL student-athlete Kevin Winston, who serves as Vice President of Player Affairs for the Atlanta Falcons.
“I am so proud of SPAAT’s ongoing efforts to provide Oakland students with the support they need to win on the court, on the field, and in the classroom.” said Gary Payton. “As a former OAL student athlete, I know the work these students put in to balance their academics and athletics. Like many of these students, my family could not afford to pay for my college education but my athletic abilities made room for me to attend Oregon State University, which led to my 13-year career in the NBA. Without the grades, none of it would have been possible.”
Payton was so inspired, he also announced he would match the $5,000 scholarships for the Student Athletes of the Year at the 2019 Oakland ESPY Awards!
Here’s a full list of the 2018 Oakland ESPY Awards honorees:
OAL Female High School Athlete of the Year: Jada Delaney, Oakland Tech Golf, 4.0 GPA, Arizona State University
OAL Male High School Athlete of the Year: Antonio Faaeteete, Fremont High Football, 3.0 GPA, Rice University
OAL All-Academic Team:
Tupou Paua, Skyline, 4.0 GPA, Holy Names University
Victor Tolento Ventura, CCPA, 3.75 GPA, Cal State East Bay
Kendall Prime, Oakland Tech, 4.71 GPA, LeHigh University
Albert Mitchell, McClymonds, 3.85 GPA, U.C. Berkeley
Yani Singer, Oakland Tech, 4.67 GPA, Merritt College
Henry Larkin, Oakland Tech, 3.2 GPA, DePaul University (not in picture)
Neisha Moore – Valedictorian, McClymonds, 4.17 GPA, USC
Donald Liu – Valedictorian, Skyline, 4.8 GPA, M.I.T.
OAL Male High School Coach of the Year: Sean Kohles, Skyline
OAL Female High School Coach of the Year: Yesenia Mendez, CCPA
OAL Alumni Outstanding Achievement: Oakland Legend Kevin Parker and Oakland A’s Legend Rickey Henderson (not in picture)
Darryl Aikens Memorial Scholarship: Jamiana Akinjo, McClymonds High, UCLA
OAL Most Valuable Players:
Antonio Faaeteete, Fremont High
Charles Alberty, McClymonds High
Khirah McCoy, Oakland High (not in picture)
Brooklin Sharpe, Oakland Tech
Tupou Paua, Skyline High
Adam Crampton, Oakland Tech (not in picture)
Jamie Burgasser, Oakland Tech
Josue Pereyra, Kipp King
Juan Lopez, LPS
Jayden Kael, Skyline High
OAL Female Middle School Athlete of the Year: Kamaya Jackson, Edna Brewer Middle School, 4.0 GPA
OAL Male Middle School Athlete of the Year: Kevion Irvin, Claremont Middle School (not in picture)
OAL Male Middle School Coach of the Year: Godffrey David Brown, Greenleaf Elementary School (not in picture)
OAL Female Middle School Coaches of the Year: Corin Yamasaki & Sarah Ben-Israel (not in picture), Edna Brewer Middle School
Marvel A. Smith Award for Outstanding Football Lineman: Amani Trigg-Wright, McClymonds High, UNLV
OAKLAND ESPY AWARDS
Thank you to our Sponsors: Blue Shield of CA and thier Black Employee Network, Adidas, and the Oakland A’s Community Foundation and Greg McConnell.
Thank you to our Partners: Oakland Unified School District, Oakland Athletic League, Oakland Promise, ACES Foundation, Marcus Foster Education Institute, The Golden State Warriors Oakland Raiders, City Councilmember Lynette McElhaney and City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan.
And a Big Thank You to the ESPY Planning Committee: Tasion Kwamilele (Co-Chair), Martinique Petty (Co-Chair), Willie Bogan, Anwar McQueen, Kevin Winston, Lamonte Winston, Mike Bobino, Alphonso Powell, Jeff Taylor, Umika Rose, Michael Peters, Kitty Richardson, Detra Paige, MTracey Smith, Oakland Legend Kevin Parker, Ay’Anna Moody, Alicia Dixon, Tyranny Allen, John Sasaki, Brian McGhee, Laura Hogan, David Dickler, Pete Brown, Angela Gums, Dunia Wilder, James Earl-Rockerfeller, Ramassess Heard and Carmen Pearson.