VN Note: "In just a few months, Christian "Bubba" Luna and his family and others in a two-county region have cemented deep ties with a youth-oriented gym that places an equal importance on athletics and academics. It has also provided lessons on respect, maturity and community service."
Praising the gym for helping him achieve his goals, Bubba Luna said:
"This program has been very important to me. I've matured a lot. I've learned respect for my family and teachers and how to be a role model." (VN)
VN Note: "Luna went on to lead his team to a 6-5 record as a senior, throwing for 524 yards running for 522 yards. He also boosted his grade point average from 2.67 to about 3.5 as the football season hit high gear."
About getting a scholarship offer from UH, Luna said:
"I always dreamed of getting a scholarship and it came through. All the hard work paid off." (VN)
VN Note: "Receiving a scholarship was a godsend, said the teen's parents. His mother, Lourdes, works as a mortgage loan processor. Her husband, Ray, works as a sales representative for Behr paints. Bubba, who got his nickname as a child, is the second oldest of the couple's five children. Ray is known in the family as "big Bubba." '
About the importance of her son Bubba getting a scholarship from UH, Lourdes Luna said:
"When that (scholarship) call came through, it felt like a big relief, I'm in the lending business, and things aren't too hot right now." (VN)
VN Note: "She and her husband credit Prodigy Athletes – which opened in a Temecula commercial center last fall – with much of their son's success on and off the field. The 7,500-square-foot gym – which moved from Orange County and has trained more than 15,000 athletes over the years in its classes, camps and clinics – is located in a Temecula commercial area that flanks Madison Avenue."
About how the new gym was a big help to her son, Lourdes Luna said:
"It's really changed my son, all my sons. They all go here. They learn how to be responsible for themselves as a student first and then as an athlete." (VN)
About how Prodigy Athletes also helped his son Bubba with his leadership and mentoring skills, Ray Luna said:
"It's something that's improved him in all aspects." (VN)
VN Note: "Other parents have provided similar observations of the gym that has lined a wall with computer terminals for athletes to chip away at their homework and also join forces with other students and parents in tackling group projects."
Praising the training program at Prodigy Athletes, Billy Jo Hobert (former NFL QB) said:
"This is one of the best training programs I have seen on the whole West Coast. The emphasis on citizenship, academics, leadership as well as physical skills development makes this program a real winner." (VN)
VN Note: "The Luna family got a first-hand look at Prodigy's commitment to community service following the earthquake and tsunami flooding that devastated much of Samoa shortly after the gym opened. The 8.0-magnitude quake was one of the largest recorded worldwide last year, and it triggered four tsunami waves that traveled as far inland as one mile. Whole villages were destroyed, and more than 100 people were killed and hundreds more were reported missing after the disaster.
Bubba and brothers Cameron and Carson Luna lost a cousin, a mother of eight children, in the cataclysm. Prodigy Coach Marcus Leli also lost a cousin. As a result, the gym helped coordinate the shipment of Inland Empire donations to the stricken region. Gym families collected cash, clothing, cooking utensils, diapers, toiletries and other items for the emergency effort."
About the devastation in Samoa, Lourdes Luna (who traces her cultural roots to Samoa) said:
"It hit close to home." (VN)
VN Note: "For some visitors, the gym might fall short of their equipment expectations. Unlike many gyms that seem to be filled from one wall to another with workout machines, Prodigy relies less on weights and more on agility and speed drills."
About how Prodigy Athletes will take over Temecula, parent Tony Goodwin said:
"Within a year, every kid in town is going to be with this gym. It's going to pop." (VN)
VN Note: "His son, Anthony "Chief" Goodwin, has been Bubba Luna's teammate and running partner since the pair played Mighty Mites football. The elder Goodwin said his son also hopes to snare a college football scholarship. The gym partners with FullRidePlayer.com, a college scholarship and recruiting assistance service. Troy Lau, founder of Prodigy Athletes and its key coach, said colleges today are seeking more than mere speed and power."
About preparing their athletes for college scholarships, Troy Lau said:
"It's not always the most talented kids who get the scholarships. The (college) recruiters say: 'How are his skills? How are his hips? How are his grades? Tell me about his parents. They want good kids who are coachable and are going to do the job in the classroom." (VN)
VN Note: "He described Luna as "an innocent kid" who is determined to work harder than anyone else on the field or in the gym."
About how he stresses academics to the high school athletes at his gym that hope for college scholarships, Lau said:
"I tell these kids that they (colleges) don't hand these scholarships to everyone. If you want to be different, you have to act different. Solid academics is what it takes. Football is the easy part. Kids don't realize that." (VN)
About how he hopes for a shot at pro football, with becoming a firefighter his backup plan, Luna said:
"I'm young. I know that. They've made me believe I can do what I need to do. It (pro sports) is the dream of every athlete." (VN)