Elliot Rosado was fed up, tired of seeing the same old story.
Rosado, a longtime coach, trainer and mentor to young basketball players in the Bronx, kept running into kids who had enough talent to play college basketball but lacked the grades.
So a few years ago, he decided to do something about it.
Rosado and his wife funded SAT tutors for some of the local players with the hope that they'd acquire the requisite scores to satisfy the NCAA Clearinghouse.
Seven years later, that effort has spawned the Books & Ball Foundation, a charitable organization that helps players take the SAT test as early as their freshman year and provides funds for tutoring and testing fees.
"Basketball is the easiest part," Rosado says. "Trying to get the SAT score is another issue."
This is the message that Rosado and his guests will impart to young players on Saturday, when he hosts the seventh annual Books & Ball All-City Classic at the Baychester Community Center.
"Kids are waiting too late to take the SAT test, and they don't have to," Rosado said. "We want them to take it as early as possible so they can get the score they need."
Rosado's game will feature some of the top sixth, seventh and eighth graders in the area in games starting at 4 p.m. At 7 p.m., some of the top high school players, including Seton Hall-bound guards Isiah Whitehead and Kadeem Carrington, will play in a game.
Former St. Raymond's and Arkansas standout Kareem Reid will address the players with a message about the importance of education.
"He'll talk to them about taking the SATs early. The game is the easy part," Rosado said. "We want kids to know about the importance of getting their scores, too."