ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION
Learn more about the Hank Aaron Sports Academy and
Inner City Youth League.
The Hank Aaron Sports Academy (HASA) is designed to host youths from economically-disadvantaged areas of Mississippi and the southeastern region of the United States. For so long the Jackson Public School District, located in the capital city of Jackson, has had the unfortunate designation of being one of the few if not the only school districts to have seven (7) high schools and not one of them having its own (on- campus) baseball field.
In 2017, a group of concerned coaches, parents and political leaders came together to determine how best to solve this issue. Born was the concept that would later come to be known as the Hank Aaron Sports Academy. Through local and national financial support the HASA will provide an opportunity for each of the seven (7) high schools to host, practice and play games on a modern and up-to-date baseball facility. The Academy will also serve as the host for as many as 36 – 40 weekends of tournament baseball for youth ages 6-14 featuring both recreational leagues and travel leagues, many playing with and against each other for the first time, in a unique setting such as this one offers. It is our hope and goal that this level of competition, exposure and training will increase our youths and their parents’ interest and success in the sport of baseball.
“Many of our youth don’t have the financial capabilities to compete in “travel ball” due to the costsassociated with hotels, rental cars, food and the other costs involved with going out of town 2 or 3weekends a month. Local HASL tournaments will now allow these same families to only need to travelan hour or so or in some cases just across town to play travel ball without all of the financial overhead” – Clint Johnson, League President.
With baseball becoming an almost year-round sport, the HASA will be able to offer the same
alternatives and opportunities to the youth of Mississippi and surrounding states as is experienced in so many other areas and countries where academies like this one prevail.
Tim Bennett has been a baseball pioneer in the state of Mississippi who led the effort in the relocation of the Atlanta Braves (AA) team to Pearl,Mississippi in 2005, then relocating the Milwaukee Brewers (AA) team to Biloxi, Mississippi in 2015 – where he is also co-owner of the team. Tim is the first and only minority owner in Minor League Baseball in the history of the state of Mississippi and one of just several in the country.
In just 20 years, Mississippi has gone from being the only state in the region to be without any form of professional baseball to now being the only state in the country that hosts the only two teams that Hank Aaron ever played for, the Milwaukee Braves / Brewers and the Atlanta Braves. Mississippi is now home to the first and only Hank AaronSports Academy.
“ While I am both honored and humbled to be recognized as the leader in the effort in bringing baseball back to Mississippi, it would be a great dishonor to say that I did it alone, this was truly a team effort that included, Governors Haley Barbour, Phil Bryant and Tate Reeves, Mayors Jimmy Foster, A.J. Holloway, Andrew "Fofo" Gilich and Chokwe Lumumba, city leaders, business leaders, citizens and so many MLB executives like Mike Plant, Derek Schiller, John Schuerholz, Dayton Moore and Bobby Cox – they are all a part of what we have been able to accomplish and without this team, it wouldn't have come to fruition.”
– Tim Bennett
INNER CITY YOUTH "ICY" ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Advisory Committee Member
Advisory Committee Member
TALK TO US
1200 Lakeland Dr, Jackson, MS