SPIRE Basketball Academy

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Located at SPIRE Institute, a United States Olympic and Paralympic Training site, SPIRE Academy is an international high school and postgraduate academy focused on developing and preparing student-athletes to be successful in college. Placing emphasis on academic, athletic, leadership, and character development, SPIRE Academy is the ultimate environment for cultivating strong minds, strong bodies, and strong character to help student-athletes reach their maximum potential.



SPIRE Academy’s basketball training is based on the principles of discipline, teamwork, consistency, leadership, and commitment. These principles, our staff's commitment, and our complete analysis of every aspect of your game, make it possible to reach your maximum potential on and off the court.

Student-athletes will receive one-on-one individual workouts, dedicated team practices, shooting sessions, evaluations, and video breakdown of their game.

SPIRE Academy’s basketball staff brings over 80 years of combined playing and coaching experience at the professional, collegiate, and high school level. While many of SPIRE Academy staff’s former players have gone on to play professionally in the NBA and overseas, the most prestigious aspect of the SPIRE basketball program is the staff’s successful placement of hundreds of athletes into collegiate programs.


Performance gains seen over the course of a school year will be monitored and charted to show growth.

Becoming stronger and faster while improving stamina and preventing injuries, SPIRE Academy student-athletes become college-ready through their SPIRE Performance training. Each student’s performance program is personalized based on a functional movement screening that identifies strengths and areas for improvement. SPIRE Academy student-athletes typically have 3-4 performance sessions per week, lasting 90 minutes each.




At SPIRE Academy, mental training is just as important as physical training. Student-athletes that take full advantage of mental training opportunities build confidence, maturity, and a mindset that is necessary for competing at the highest level. Student-athletes are taught that thoughts create feelings, feelings create actions, and actions create results. How you feel affects how you perform.

SPIRE Academy students meet with our Director of Mental Skills on a weekly basis in an interactive setting to improve mental toughness, preparation technique, motivation, concentration, work ethic, positive self-talk and confidence.





Postgraduate Academics:

Postgraduate student-athletes at SPIRE Academy are students who have already graduated high school (Grade 12). Postgraduates have the opportunity to begin taking college courses through Kent State University at Ashtabula, re-take high school courses to improve grade point average, and/or enroll in SAT/ACT prep courses to improve test scores necessary for college entry. All of our academic options offered are designed to preserve four-year NCAA college eligibility for student-athletes. Questions about your eligibility or requirements to participate as a student-athlete at the college level can be directed to our Director of College Placement. At SPIRE Academy, we feel that improving your academic standing provides more options for our postgraduate students entering college related to higher levels of admittance and scholarships.

High School Academics:

High school students at SPIRE Academy are students in grades 9-12. SPIRE Academy provides several academic options for high school student-athletes: private, public, and online. All three options are NCAA approved, high academic, and college preparatory options designed to help students achieve success in the classroom with the individual attention and care of our staff. No matter if a student-athlete is already tops in their class or in need of academic development, SPIRE Academy offers solutions for all incoming students.

SPIRE Academy’s private and public school options provide a traditional classroom feel with a student to teacher ratio of 12:1. Varying level of courses, from standard to honors and AP courses, accommodate each student-athlete’s individual needs. Please contact us for more information on our traditional classroom options.

SPIRE Academy’s online course offerings are ideal for serious student-athletes. With the same full course offerings as our traditional classroom options, online courses provide more flexability in  scheduling for a student-athlete in training. Overseen by our academic staff, our online high school student-athletes are able to receive one-on-one attention and guidance to achieve success in the classroom, while also maximizing their athletic experience at SPIRE Academy.



College Placement Services:

SPIRE Academy’s commitment to college placement is what separates us from other preparatory academies. Through a combination of athletic exposure, and our staff’s holistic approach to the college search process, 100% of our graduating seniors and postgraduates have had options upon graduation to launch their collegiate career. Our philosophy with regards to recruiting is to identify college options where each student-athlete will have the opportunity to be successful academically, athletically, and socially. Through one-on-one meetings, each student-athlete will be guided on a planning process that involves researching colleges that provide the best fit, developing an appropriate timeline for decision making, becoming registered and qualified through the NCAA Eligibility Center, applying to schools of choice, guidance with financial aid and scholarships, and following through with the college admissions process.

All of our academic options follow a schedule similar to a college schedule with blocked times for academics separate from basketball training time. This allows SPIRE Academy student-athletes to truly be prepared to handle the rigors of being a college student-athlete upon graduation.



SPIRE FUEL (dining on campus):

Every part of a student-athlete’s training at SPIRE Academy is world class. This includes the meal and nutrition program. SPIRE Academy students eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at SPIRE FUEL. All meals are all-you-can-eat buffet style and are included in the cost of tuition. From the custom grill, to the soup & salad bar, our staff works hand in hand with our student-athletes to provide healthy, nutritious, great tasting meal options. In addition, our Director of Food and Beverage, in conjunction with our performance coaches, teach classes to SPIRE Academy students about proper nutrition for athletes. Our staff monitors the meal program to ensure our students are eating enough of the proper foods to maximize their training and development on the court. Customized nutrition consulting is also available.





Housing is included in the boarding student tuition rate. SPIRE Academy’s full time staff lives and monitors student-athlete housing 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Our athletes have access to various amenities depending on location.


All local ground transportation is included in tuition. Local ground transportation on our shuttles includes to and from all SPIRE Academy facilities (athletic and academic), as well as off-campus outings (shopping, activities, etc.) and any off-site doctor’s appointments.



What is the next step?

If you have interest in our program here at SPIRE, select Inquire About SPIRE and tell us a little about yourself! 

If you want a taste of what SPIRE Academy is like, try out the SPIRE Academy Experience!

SPIRE Academy requires the information below when considering applications for our High School and Post Graduate programs:

High School Applicants

  • SPIRE Academy Application
  • Current transcripts.
  • Any ACT/SAT scores.
  • Sport highlights.

Post Graduate Applicants

  • SPIRE Academy Application
  • Current ACT/SAT Scores.
  • Current transcripts.
  • Sport highlights.

We can be reached at 440-466-1002 as well as admissions@spireinstitute.org.


Our Basketball Staff

Professionalism both on and off the court.


Gravelle Craig

Head Prep & Post Grad Basketball Coach

Coach Craig brings in over 18 years Division I coaching experience including six as a Head Coach. He most recently was an assistant coach at Stetson University. Prior to Stetson, Craig spent seven seasons as an Assistant (2004-2011) and six as a Head Coach (2011-2017) at Bethune Cookman University.

Dawud Abdur-Rahkman

Head High School Basketball Coach

Coach Dawud Abdur-Rahkman brings 25 years of coaching experience to SPIRE Institute. Including five years as an Assistant Coach at the NCAA D1 level, four Years as a Head Coach at the Junior College level, and four years as an Assistant Coach at the NCAA D3 level.