Joins Forces with Coach Lou Holtz, Football and WNBA Detroit Shock Basketball

Academy of the Sacred Heart Puts Spotlight on Sports

Bloomfield Hills, MI -- Youth can try their hand at football, basketball and lacrosse at the Academy of the Sacred Heart’s upcoming ASH Experience Youth Sports Challenge on Friday, May 1, 2009, beginning at 5:00 p.m. The ASH Experience is designed to bring together the greater community and families with children ages 10-18. Events will include football pass, punt and kick; tire-run drills; target football practice; and lacrosse distance shooting. The three-time women’s basketball champions, WNBA Detroit Shock, will also host a basketball clinic featuring Hot Shot and Free Throw Challenges.

“Our Year Round Hoops staff are committed to bringing the highest level of basketball instruction to children, using several fun and unique methods to teach the game,” said Aaron Smith, director, of WNBA Detroit Shock Camps and Clinics. “Ball handling, shooting, passing and defense are all covered during these high-energy clinics. We provide a great basketball experience for everyone.”

ASH Athletic Directors Debbe Pavle and Ken Hallberg will be on hand to lead the ASH Experience activities along with other area coaches including: Al Fracassa, Brother Rice; Mike Boyd, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes; Tony Patritto, Rochester Adams; and Calvin Gross, Rochester Stoney Creek.

The ASH Experience directly ties in with the Academy of the Sacred Heart’s athletic program, which provides equal opportunity for all students to learn about sports, develop skills and exercise leadership. “Through our ‘no-cut’ policy, everyone has the opportunity to be on the team, regardless of size or experience,” said Debbe Pavle, Athletic Director, ASH Upper School for Girls. “ASH’s program promotes self-discipline, responsibility and decision-making, as well as learning the benefits of cooperation and respect for other people.”

ASH’s Kensington Hall (boys’ middle school) and Middle School for Girls maintain a competitive interscholastic sports program. The boys participate in soccer, tennis and cross-country in the fall; basketball in the winter; and lacrosse and golf in the spring. The girls participate in field hockey, cross-country and volleyball in the fall; basketball in the winter; and lacrosse, softball and tennis in the spring. The Upper School for Girls enjoy equestrian, field hockey, golf, and volleyball in the fall; basketball, dance/pom, downhill skiing, and figure skating in the winter; and lacrosse, softball and tennis in the spring. “Each student has the opportunity to apply skills in situations equal to his or her own interest and skill level,” said Ken Hallberg, Athletic Director, Kensington Hall and Middle School for Girls.

As part of the event activities, parents, students and the community-at-large can also enjoy a casual Stadium-Style Dinner providing networking opportunities, tours of the school, and viewing of the ASH Experience Youth Sports Challenge from the sidelines, and general admission seating at the Leaders of Conscience Program and Keynote address.

Immediately following the ASH Experience Youth Sports Challenge and Stadium-Style Dinner, one of the most successful college football coaches of all time will speak. Lou Holtz, legendary football coach, author and ESPN analyst, will take center stage, giving the keynote address during the Leaders of Conscience Speaker Series program. The program host and moderator will be WXYZ-TV Sports Director Don Shane. Known for his motivational speaking, Coach Holtz will discuss overcoming seemingly impossible challenges by setting your own goals and working to achieve them. The Academy will honor Coach Holtz with the Leaders of Conscience Award. Also, the ASH After School Learning Center, celebrating 20 years of service as a satellite program to children from the Pontiac public school district, will receive a $5,000 Lou Holtz Scholarship for the center’s athletic program.

The Academy of the Sacred Heart is located at 1250 Kensington Road in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Pre-event activities will be held from 5:00-6:30 p.m. and the keynote address will begin at 7:00 p.m. For more event details and to register for the event, visit www.ashmi.org/speakerseries, or call 248-646-8900 ext. 170.

The Leaders of Conscience Speaker Series was inaugurated this year as part of the Academy's Golden Anniversary, celebrating 50 years at its Bloomfield Hills campus and 158 years of education and outreach in the metropolitan Detroit area. The speaker series aims to provide ethical guidance and real-life testimonials from internationally-known personalities whose lives and works inspire students and the larger community with messages of hope and optimism.