The Atlanta Celtics organization is a non-profit spring and summer youth basketball program that works to develop life changing skills in talented student athletes. For more than 20 years their mission has been to help guide children as they learn to make good decisions on and off the basketball court. The program encourages the kids to work hard to be the best they can be today, and to become strong leaders and productive citizens in the future.
The Celtics organization believes the team concept is an essential part of the programs plan. Players learn to work together as a team, showing good sportsmanship and being unselfish on offense. All players on the team are utilized, and the basic fundamentals of the game are emphasized. The style of play is aggressive, and players must be in good physical condition. The Atlanta Celtics teams compete against top teams in Georgia and the Southeast.
In addition to their work on the basketball court, Celtics players are expected to achieve academic success as well. Special tutoring is provided to players who need extra help with their studies. The Celtics partner with Academic Assistance Program, Inc. (AAP) to provide this service for those families. Every child that plays basketball in the Celtics program is encouraged to attend college to further their education. Many players in the program have gone on to receive scholarships to top rated colleges and universities. Celtics players have played college basketball at University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn University, LSU, Virginia Tech, Alabama, University of Florida, and Florida State. Several of the programs alumni have had careers in the NBA.
Students as young as the 3rd grade may try out for the Celtics. There are teams for youth ages 7-19 years of age, in elementary, middle, and secondary school. The organization averages between 20-26 teams per season. Tryouts are held in January. Some of the teams may play in the very competitive Amateur Athletics Union (AAU) and the Youth Basketball of America (YBOA) tournaments, which are held 2 to 3 weekends each month during the season. These organizations sponsor regional and state tournaments, and winning teams may qualify for the national tournament that is held each summer.
The Atlanta Lady Celtics girls division, for female athletes in high school, is a subsidiary of the Atlanta Celtics. The teams are members of the adidas Grassroots Girls Basketball organization and play in affiliated adidas tournaments. In 2011 90% of the graduating girls accepted scholarships to play basketball at the college level, in such schools as Georgia Southern, Mercer, and the Air Force Academy.