By Tyriq Thompson SMSB Alum / Intern – Staff Writer
Masai Reddick is one of Detroit Cass Technical High School stars on the rise. The 6’4 285-pound offensive tackle will be entering his junior year this fall, and already possesses the maturity and wisdom of someone who has graduated college.
Reddick holds scholarship offers from Ole Miss, Memphis, Southern Mississippi, Akron, Buffalo, and Bowling Green, and receiving interest from the Big Ten Conference from the likes of Michigan State, Rutgers, and Wisconsin. Though Reddick already has a clear-cut path to the next level, he still finds a way to push to become the best version of himself.
“Never settle, “ Reddick says. “You might have schools looking at you, but you still have to work 10 times as hard. Because if you settle with what you have, as soon as you stop, everybody else who was still working will pass you by.”
Reddick believes that a sound mind is the most important aspect in life and football. He was introduced to Sound Mind Sound Body when he attended an SMSB camp as an 8th grader. It was his first time meeting SMSB founder Curtis Blackwell, and he says as time went on, his relationship with Blackwell and the program began to grow. Now, Reddick is a part of the SMSB E.L.I.T.E.
“It means a lot to me,” Reddick said of the program. “Sound Mind Sound Body opens up doors, and shows me what I’m capable of, as well as what it will be like on the next level. It’s making me more accountable, more responsible, and better with time management.”
Each student in the program is responsible for checking in for their one-hour tutoring session five days per week. Every Sunday, when the program meets, attendance and engagement reports are read aloud for everyone in the program – student-athletes and mentors alike – to hear. The goal is to go “five for five” each week, and if a day is missed your teammates and peers will know. It is this type of transparency and intimacy that the young men in the program want and need.
“The environment motivates me to come back every time,” Reddick said. “No matter what happens, Coach Blackwell and the coaching staff are going to work their hardest to get me to where I want to go. It’s not like we just go out there, do one-on-ones and go home. It’s the SAT prep, meetings, and inspirational speaking that makes you wish your time here was longer.”
Reddick made a point to mention that he does not take SMSB or the SMSB E.L.I.T.E. program for granted. He says that through trips to tour colleges and participate in camps, he has traveled more with SMSB than he has at any point in his life.
“I wish every kid could get this experience,” Reddick said. “Most kids I know are on their own, don’t have help, and have to try and make things happen themselves. I’m blessed to have it.”