LaMelo Ball, the Charlotte Hornets rookie and third overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft, has partnered with Yellowbrick and CloseUp360 to give his mother, Tina Ball, an inspiring gift for her birthday today: the gift of education to others, through Yellowbrick.
Yellowbrick is a New York-based education platform that develops online courses by partnering with leading universities and brands. At the center of LaMelo’s offering are two Yellowbrick courses that tie into his interests off the court: Sneaker Essentials, created with Complex and FIT; and Streetwear Essentials, created with Complex and Parsons. LaMelo is offering enrollment in these two courses nationally at a discount rate for each. Also, in honor of Tina, he’s giving these two courses to 100 students at Vernon Middle School in Montclair, CA, where his mother worked as a physical education teacher and then the athletic director for 24 years.
“LaMelo is known worldwide for his determination, talent, work ethic, and curiosity. We’re thrilled that he’s working with us to instill some of that same passion in another generation of learners who are intent on pursuing their dreams—just like he has,” said Dion Walcott, VP of Partnerships at Yellowbrick.
In creating this partnership, LaMelo Ball and Yellowbrick were brought to the table by CloseUp360, a specialized media platform and production company focused on NBA players and insiders, and their impact off the court. CloseUp360 spearheaded this educational initiative and a special day this November for LaMelo, Tina, and the Ball family back at Vernon Middle School, where she was surprised by her former staff friends and received two Most Outstanding Achievement awards.
“We are excited to partner with Yellowbrick, and thrilled to honor Tina and LaMelo by providing 100 scholarships to students at Vernon Middle School,” said Rama Raju, Brand Partnerships Director for CloseUp360. “We are so grateful to share the same mission as Yellowbrick, Tina, LaMelo, and the entire Ball family: giving back to communities and helping others reach their dreams by providing passion-focused courses to help these students in the future.”
The partnership’s efforts aim to attract the most passionate, talented and ambitious students within LaMelo’s and CloseUp360’s community: learners who are interested in exploring, pursuing, and advancing careers in the Sneaker and Streetwear industries.
“I’m excited about the 100 Yellowbrick scholarships for Vernon Middle School that we’re going to be giving out on behalf of my mama,” said LaMelo Ball. “She was my teacher, I would say, just for life—helping me be a good person, who I am today, just how to treat people, how to be.”
Learners who are interested in exploring courses and opportunities are encouraged to visit Tina and LaMelo’s special website, which has the discounts and CloseUp360’s exclusive feature from the school day: https://www.yellowbrick.co/closeup360-tina-lamelo-ball.
“Tina impacted the lives of many children and staff over her 24 years in the Ontario-Montclair School District at Vernon Middle School, and having LaMelo select our school to honor his mother is a testament of how important the Vernon community is to her and the many lives she positively impacted over her career,” said Kim Tovar, Vernon Middle School’s principal. “The scholarships that will be issued to our students in her name will support students for years to come. I know first-hand that education was always a priority for Tina and this is reflective of her legacy at Vernon Middle School.”