Braxton Miller is lending his brand and support to a new sports-centric charter school set to open in Springfield this fall.
The Springfield Sports Academy will serve grades K-5 as well early kindergarten with plans to add grades each year.
The school will be located at 501 S. Wittenberg Ave. in the building that was originally J. Warren Keifer Junior High.
It will be owned and operated by ACCEL Schools, a company that operates charter schools across the country, including 78 in Ohio.
Chad Carr, an ACCEL executive vice president who helped develop the sports-centric model the school will implement, said the goal of the academy is to provide kids with the chance to develop themselves academically and athletically without sacrificing all of their afternoons and evenings to practice.
As described in literature distributed during an open house Wednesday night, the new school will be a “well-rounded college prep program emphasizing competitive sports training” and include teaching of English Language Arts, math, science and social studies as well as physical education with specialized athletic training.
Competitive sports training, conditioning and competitions will be part of the regular school day with the intention for students to get their academic work and athletic practices finished by 4:30 each school day.
“We’re just trying to make it more convenient for families to be families,” Carr said.
“I met Braxton over this past year and he’s from Springfield, and his vision is he wants to give back to the community,” Carr said. “He wants to see kids busy doing sports instead of other things. He just needed a facility, so ACCEL stepped in and found a facility that was available so we partnered with Braxton and we’re gonna open the Springfield Sports Academy ‘charged by Braxton Miller’ because that is his brand.”
Miller grew up on the south side of Springfield before becoming a star quarterback at Wayne High School and then Ohio State.
He spent four years in the NFL before going into the business world and establishing the Charg1ingSports brand that sponsors various team camps and events as well as the Braxton Miller Foundation, which is dedicated to offering opportunities to young people who want to better themselves in life and sports.
“My thing is I do a lot of stuff with sports and kids with camps, leagues and tournaments and stuff like that,” Miller said. “It’s always been a dream of mine to have my own school portfolio. Not just one, not just two but a plethora. I want like 10 plus, so I think the first and foremost way to stamp my name into the academy space is planting a flag where I grew up. I always had a vision of buying something like this and being a part of it and helping kids get to the level I am now.”
Miller previously announced he would be part of a group purchasing the former campus of Urbana University in Champaign County, and that remains in progress but is a separate venture entirely.
The Springfield Sports Academy is open to anyone on a first-come, first-served basis, and Carr said spots have been pledged to all students who previously attended Springfield Christian, the former tenant of the building.