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Teaching young men the skills required for navigating life’s challenges through the game of basketball. Learn the necessary skills for becoming capable on and off the court.

Hoopsmentorlab was created by founders Abdallah Badwan, David Gramling, and Script Burkes after seeing the lack of role models the young men they coached had – both within the game of basketball and outside of it in life. Abdallah, David, and Script recognized young men lack leaders they can respect, relate to, and feel understood by. Founders Abdallah Badwan and David Gramling joined forces to lead the Salam Stars, a small private muslim school in Milwaukee, towards their goal of a state championship. Abdallah and David were raised Muslim and experienced firsthand the disconnect between the younger and older generations when it comes to pursuing basketball as a career or engaging with basketball beyond high school. 

Script and David initially connected through Script’s son, Deuce Burkes. Nearly four years ago, Script hired David to increase Deuce’s speed, quickness, and explosiveness. Though Script was a trainer himself, he saw the potential to greatly impact Deuce’s athleticism within David’s ideas and trusted him with training his son. From that day, Script and David have combined to meet all of Deuce’s training needs and significantly increased his speed, vertical jump, overall strength, and movement patterns. The two even started their own athletic camp this summer, known as Hollywood Elite Athlete Training Camp. Through the camp, Script and David have begun mentoring a group of young athletes on how to increase their athleticism, take care of their bodies outside of training, improve their mindfulness, and carry themselves as a young man. 

Abdallah grew up within Salam School for his entire life, playing varsity basketball for four years before moving on to play club basketball at UWM. It was there at UWM where Abdallah took a giant leap from average basketball player to developing his skills to a professional level. Since UWM he went on to dominate the best leagues in Milwaukee, often directly facing up against and dominating pros. Starting in 2021, Abdallah took over as the head coach of the Salam Stars with the intention of creating a culture that would lead to a state championship and increased opportunities for muslim men to continue playing basketball after high school. David played three years varsity at Brookfield Academy and was a member of teams that were consistently ranked within the top 10 of Division 4 in Wisconsin. David went onto play club soccer in college at the university of Saint Louis. David grew up playing nearly every sport under the sun including track and field, baseball, tennis, along with basketball and soccer. During high school and college David suffered a multitude of injuries including three knee surgeries, a torn hamstring, and a broken foot. This journey led David to become a personal trainer and develop his understanding of how to recover from serious lower body injuries in a way that allows you to come back as an even better athlete than before you were injured. David has been training athletes professionally since 2019 and specializes in increasing speed/quickness, vertical jumping ability, and movement quality. In addition David began a basketball skills training company where he helps players develop their ball handling, decision making, and scoring. 

Script, the eldest of four children, was born and raised in the inner city of Milwaukee Wisconsin. He’d spend most of his childhood outdoors shooting hoops with his peers from sun up to sun down.Basketball was a way to keep safe and to stay out of trouble. After later becoming a high school dropout and experiencing years of mental health struggles, it was then that Script stumbled upon a love and passion for fitness. “Fitness saved my life” is a quote that Script continues to live by. Over the last decade, Script has established a reputation for professionalism, knowledge, and consistent results within the Milwaukee fitness community. As the State of Wisconsin 2017 Powerlifting Champion, he incorporates the dedication and commitment to physical fitness required to achieve that goal into each client’s individualized training plan to ensure they achieve theirs.Script’s approach to personal training is to create fitness level appropriate strength and conditioning routines based on client needs. Script is currently a student at Capella University, majoring in psychology, in route to becoming a licensed clinical therapist. His ultimate goal is to create a curriculum that will help bring insight and awareness to the healing powers and the connections between the mind, body and soul.

David, Abdallah, and Script first met at Lifetime in 2019 and that’s where the seeds were first sown for what would become a historic 2023. In early January, Abdallah decided to bring David on as an assistant coach for Salam school. Two months later, the Salam Stars had won their first two playoff games in school history and were playing in a regional final for the first time ever. After a decade without a single playoff victory, a new culture and history became established. 

After their experience with the boys of Salam school and with Deuce, Abdallah, David, and Script quickly realized that there were many more young men who would benefit from their guidance. Hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of kids who were in a similar situation to their boys. Devoid of role models, desperate to belong to a community of hoopers who had strong character and were addicted to getting better, and eager to follow men who exemplified the type of people and hoopers they aspired to be.