After a successful 2021 campaign in the Jackson-Metro area, statewide and regionally benefitting youth ages 5 – 18, the Hank Aaron Sports Academy (“HASA”) announced today that it will be donating $5,000 to benefit the 66-year-old Grove Park Baseball Association in Jackson.
Established in 1956, Grove Park represents one of Jackson’s longest standing baseball programs for youth in the minority community.
The funds will be used to assist in providing uniforms and equipment for the underserved youth while giving them a place to play at the HASA along with free youth camps, clinics, practices and a place to play baseball their games.
“We think there is a direct correlation between the prevalence of crime and the lack of sports and other activities for youth to get involved in,” said Tim Bennett, CEO of Hank Aaron Sports Academy and co-owner of the Biloxi Shuckers. “With the voluntary efforts of Holley Haywood and Clint Johnson, the former JPS Athletic Director, JSU Graduate and Boston Red Sox MiLB pitcher, we’ve built a pretty solid foundation for HASA in 2021 and now we go to work on the structure of these programs to benefit the local and regional underserved and often at-risk youth. We hope and pray that our efforts can help curb some of the negative trends in these communities while offering opportunities for a better future for the youth at the same time, all in the name of Mr. Henry ‘Hank’ Aaron as was his endeavor.”
The HASA hosted over 400 baseball games and related events in 2021 with the majority being rent-free, including spring youth baseball tournaments, High School baseball games, Alcorn University (HBCU), Mississippi Valley State University (HBCU), Tougaloo College (HBCU), Belhaven University, summer/fall league baseball and culminating with the Hank Aaron “Big Show” Championship where the winning teams were awarded the highly coveted and limited edition Air Griffey “Hank Aaron” shoe in the form of a trophy.