With the Prime Time Games taking place at UCLA today, we wanted to get more perspective into the program that is hosting over 500 student-athletes from the west Los Angeles area. Team Prime Time is an after school sports mentorship program that teaches sports fundamentals and team work through actual school-to-school competition.
We were able to get a few words from the head of Team Prime Time, Peter Straus. Here is what he had to say about the current status of the Prime Time Games:
Go Joe Bruin: Team Prime Time has grown from a single school program that now spans five middle schools and has incorporated high school Varsity Games. What can you attribute to this success and where do you see it going in the future?
Straus: I think the reason why reason why Team Prime Time has expanded so much is because we strive to find ways for the students we serve to prove to themselves and the community that they can contribute, and have something to offer, if given the chance. I hope that we’re able to keep giving underserved youth this chance here in Los Angeles and across the country. Like them, we just need the chance.
Go Joe Bruin: Team Prime Time has grown so big that it gotten the support of Erin Coscarelli of the NFL Network, Los Angeles Lakers legend James Worthy as well as 3-time MLS champions, LA Galaxy. What does it mean to you to have this much support for your program?
Straus: Having the support of the professional sports community has done wonders for the program in terms of sharing our story, and what the kids accomplish, with a much broader audience. And it makes the kids feel really important. That’s a tribute to James, Erin, Luc, the Galaxy and many others; their involvement’s always been about the kids. They’re literally hall of famers, yet they’ve always been there to support and celebrate what the kids accomplish. Being affiliated with them as people is what has made the biggest difference for us. They get what we’re trying to accomplish and tell our story so very well.
Go Joe Bruin: How did Team Prime Time get involved with UCLA to host the Prime Time Games?
I think the reason why reason why Team Prime Time has expanded so much is because we strive to find ways for the students we serve to prove to themselves and the community that they can contribute, and have something to offer, if given the chance.
Straus: Team Prime Time and the UCLA Athletic Dept. have worked closely together since as far back as 2002, but the Prime Time Games did not find a home at UCLA until Mike Linn, Head Athletic Performance Coach, came out to see the program in 2009. His is truly an inspirational story, which is currently on the ucla newsroom website. He has a daughter with autism. When she was diagnosed, he resigned his post as the Strength Coach forporthe football team under Bob Toledo and moved to St. Louis to get her the care she needed at the time. He was asked to return to UCLA by Coach Rick Neuheisel a few years later and agreed to do so, with one condition – that he be able to create an annual event on campus that united children with autism with UCLA Athletes. He chose Team Prime Time and the Prime Time Games and the UCLA Athletic Dept. has truly honored his request.
We thank Mr. Straus for his time and wish the best for the future of Team Prime Time. For more information on the program, visit www.teamprimetime.org.