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Bluhawk development scores big with new school: TPH Academy to open doors for student athletes in Kansas City

TPH Academy family
Posted at 7:17 AM, Jun 04, 2024

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — If you live in Kansas City, you may find yourself at the Bluhawk development in Overland Park for an event or maybe some shopping. However, some student athletes will find themselves there Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., attending the newest sports academy in Kansas City.

As Adventhealth starts the clock at its new Sports Park this fall, the first school bell will ring at TPH Academy.

“Each day includes sports specific and sports performance training, at least four hours of focus in person classroom time built in,” said Francis Anzalone, TPH Academy chief operations officer.

It’s no secret that Kansas City has an affinity for sports.

“It's a market that's rich with aspiring elite athletes that are looking for customization, flexibility and holistic development,” Anzalone said.

Anzalone said they’re offering student athletes just that in athletics as well academics.

Mike Heady and his son Colin have already committed to the school.

“We were already looking at doing some sort of virtual learning because traditional school with playing travel sports, you miss a lot of time,” Mike Heady said.

Anzalone said he hears that a lot.

“What we found is kids now as young as 14 years old feel like they have to make a choice. Either it's I want to be a high-level student, a high-level athlete, or a normal kid,” Anzalone said.

He says their model eliminates that choice yet emphasized that they prepare students for life beyond athletics as well.

Each week students will have at least 20 academic hours and at least eight sports-related hours. TPH will have a director of academics and teachers available onsite, and they work closely with NCAA counselors to make sure their coursework aligns with what students need to get into college.

“Athletics can only take us so far and if athletics stops at 12th grade for some student athletes, we want to be sure that the academic journey can continue,” Anzalone said.

Bluhawk included, TPH will have 22 academies across the country. However, for the first time ever, they’ll be opening the school with four-to-six sports ready. Students can attend for hockey, volleyball, soccer, and baseball, and Anzalone said they’re already looking to add more sports.

Colin Heady is going for hockey.

“I'm looking forward to like being able to like, like focus more on hockey,” Colin said.

With his afternoons now free because training will take place during school hours, you can guess what he’s looking forward to having more time for.

“More hockey,” Colin said.