Jerry Johnson was a standout student athlete at McCaskey and Rider University and he has played in Belgium for Spirou Basket Charleroi, a professional basketball team, for the past three years.

He has had a large measure of success in combining academics and athletics, and he wants the same for others.

That's why he formed his Back 2 Basics Youth Development and Sports Foundation last year.

The group combines various sports camps and programs with life-skills classes.

As part of the effort, Johnson is now forming an AAU basketball team here for boys 13 and under.  Tryouts continue this week.

The boys selected for the 12-member team will be required to take life skills classes on such topics as sportsmanship, banking and academic excellence.

Johnson's ultimate goal is to build a sports complex with a pool, batting cages, basketball courts –and, of course, classrooms.

For his efforts to teach kids about sports and life, Jerry Johnson is this week's Lancaster New Era Red Rose Award winner.

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