We are a free, 11-week, co-ed summer basketball league for Milwaukee youth ages 14 to 17. Just like the pros, we have owners, general managers, a lottery, draft and special events like an All-Star Game and Skills Competition. And we have a weekly training camp in partnership with Milwaukee Area Technical College, focused on making our kids better off the court.
Nigel Harvey was deeply touched by the sudden and tragic demise of his childhood friend as a result of violent crime – an exceptional human being who loved sports and had great care and concern for youth. This loss encouraged Mr. Harvey, now director of Cream Skills Incorporated (CSI), to carry on in the same direction while touching the lives of the young.
That led to a chance meeting between Mr. Harvey – then a Milwaukee Area Technical College student – and Armen Hadjinian, an entrepreneurship and business professor at the school. The idea they discussed: A youth basketball league focused just as much as on skills off the court as those on it.
Cream Skills Basketball was formed in 2016 as a partnership with MATC, with a primary goal of promoting entrepreneurship skills through sports. The league itself is unique, with team owners and general managers and pro-style offerings like a draft and All-Star Game and Skills Competition. Just as important, however is its emphasis on giving participants knowledge, skills, and motivation to run their own businesses. Participants are extremely empowered by the CSI Training Camp, where they learn financial literacy, life, health, fitness and other skills they will carry with them forever.
Since its founding, hundreds of players have competed in CSBA basketball, including some of the biggest names in local basketball. Many CSBA players come from the 53206 ZIP Code and other high-crime areas in Milwaukee, making the mission of the organization all the more important.
Cream Skills is about more than basketball. It’s about teaching our players valuable life skills, and that’s done through our mandatory weekly training camps. From financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills to career coaching and education about the dangers of reckless driving, we teach our young adults to become better people and citizens.