Higher Learning Hoops CEO/Founder, Shennette Sheffield Sparkes , was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Sparkes grew up as a multitalented athlete, attending St. Thomas Aquinas High School. In high school she ran track and played volleyball, with her skills and passion for basketball setting her apart. Named an honorable mention All-District selection for her final three years of high school, as well as MVP for her team during her final season. She was also nominated McDonalds All-American in 2006. Sparkes went on to play for the Lady Ospreys basketball team at the University of North Florida, with high recognition in the Atlantic Sun Conference for several seasons. While playing basketball in college Shennette Sparkes was diagnosed with two types of Lupus. Lupus is a chronic illness that over 1.5 millions are suffering with. Never letting the disease stop her from accomplishing her goals, she completed her four years at UNF and went on to play semi-professional basketball for the Orlando Extreme.
Through the years, Shennette’s love for basketball has lead her to coaching. Coach Sheff has coached several successful basketball teams. Her most recent job she was the Head Coach at San Jose Catholic Grade School, Head Coach for North Florida Lady Predators Elite AAU and the Assistant Basketball Coach for Mandarin High School. She’s previously been the Head Coach for the North Florida Spartans AAU, Assistant Basketball Coach at Ridgeview High School, as well as the Student Coach for the University of North Florida. Coach Sheff has also worked as the Director of Basketball Operations for the 2012, 2013 Back to Back ABA Champions the Jacksonville Giants three years. Coaching has given Shennette the opportunity to share her talents with the world. She loves the ability to help young athletes accomplish their goals in life.
Coach Sheff currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of North Florida. Coach Sheff is a proud wife and mother. Coach Sheff is the daughter of Dr. Rosalind Osgood, with five brothers and three sisters.
Coach Sheff believes that all great coaches should strive to motivate, inspire and inform each athlete they work with. Coach Sheff says that, ” by informing athletes we equip them with the tools necessary to get the job done .” Motivation is key. It helps fuel an athlete’s potential despite life’s circumstances. Coach Sheff hopes that through inspiration each person she comes in contact will believe in their abilities to help shape this world. Greatness is just simply giving it you’re all in every situation. Coach Sheff believes a child can use these tools for the rest of their life.”
“I love being able to help children grow, and learn about the sport they love.
I also enjoy being able to teach the campers different skills they will be able to apply in real life.
I love what I do, and it shows.”