Coach John A. Newton III
Next Level Preps founder Coach John A. Newton III got his start playing basketball as a teenager. Growing up during the early 90's in the state of Texas, basketball was an after thought for many young people. At that time football was the only focus.
He spent the early portion of his athletic life devoted to football. Developing footwork and teamwork that would later become hallmarks of his basketball game today. Sparked by a loss from a memorable pick-up basketball game with his cousin in Atlanta, GA, Newton gained an appreciation for the new sport he knew little about.
After the now legendary pick-up game, Coach Newton became enthralled with the game of basketball. He later credits that game as the birth of his basketball life. Newton then spent the summer refining his game, religiously studying basketball tapes and practicing relentlessly with minimal adult instruction.
Walking through his Houston, TX neighborhood of Ridgemont, Newton could always be seen with a basketball in his hands. Basketball became more than a game, it became his friend. Basketball kept Newton out of trouble, away from negativity and focused on his future, at the same time he had developed a genuine love for Jesus Christ his Lord and Saviour. Newton's family taught him the value of a true relationship with God through Jesus. Along the way he encountered many young believers who influenced his walk tremendously, he credits the young faithful neighborhood men of God as the ones who made him into who he is now.
On any given day you could find him dribbling to the store, to friends houses and of course to neighborhood pick-up games. Unbeknownst to him at the time Coach Newton was developing a symbiotic relationship with the basketball. In just one year his skills had drastically improved by leaps and bounds, and his faith was developing tremendously as well, he had learned to endure trials and tribulations while keeping the faith. he was now growing brave enough to speak to others about his faith in Christ.
Although greatly improved Newton was talented but much like a beautiful wild stallion he had all the tools but lacked proper training. During his High School and College years Newton was always touted as one the more gifted athletes on his team; yet still Newton desperately needed that one-on-one mentoring of a coach to guide him along and teach him the fundamentals of the game. He also needed to learn to manage his attitude and adjust to playing a role.
Newton needed a person that could individually and independently asses his game, body, mindset and unique abilities and craft a tailor made program to takes him to the next level. This was the inspiration for Next Level Preps. As a High School Coach in the Fort Bend District (Travis High School) and community mentor Coach Newton has taken hundreds (literally hundreds) of young people under his wing to show them the right way.
For years he has spent his off-time volunteering outside of school hours. Loyallyspending his time in the school gym on weekends, after school and summers for kids who wanted to put in the work. The local school gym soon became a haven for talented high school players needing a place to invest their time other than in the streets.
It became undeniable, Coach Newton realized his impact on the young people he was coming in contact with; no others adults were investing in the youth the way he was at the time. Additionally unlike most coaches, Coach Newton actively played and participated with the youth he coached; demonstrating his intense love and unique approach to the game.
Outside the basketball arena Coach Newton has always served as mentor to youth. Grounded by his faith in God and love of family, Coach Newton has been a sobering influence for many young athletes with everything at their feet. Additionally, he shares his own personal mistakes and real world examples to serve as lessons for the young people he comes in contact with daily. Coach Newton most definitely practices what he preaches. He believes basketball is a great metaphor for life. Teamwork, personal accountability and always striving to be your best can all be taken away from the game and translated into real life successes. Newton hopes to be able to use the game to impact lives, and glorify Jesus Christ!