Athlete connections foundation


Our Mission

ATHLETE CONNECTIONS FOUNDATION is an organization that cares deeply about the success and well-being of young student-athletes. We aim to empower these boys and girls through the power of sports, providing them with the skills, knowledge, and exposure they need to excel both on and off the court. Our annual showcases are held in various locations across the country, where we identify the top talent and teams and help them to develop their skills to the fullest. Our ultimate goal is to help these talented youth achieve academic and athletic success, earn high school diplomas, and even receive college scholarships.

We believe that sports have a transformative power, not just in terms of physical health and fitness but also in terms of mental and emotional well-being. Our events have helped to improve the attitudes, self-esteem, confidence, grades, relationships, and respect for peers and elders of countless young people. By providing a positive outlet for their energy and passions, we hope to reduce crime and create safer, more supportive communities.

Director Dan Cross is a true champion for young student-athletes, and his basketball event showcases are designed to equip them with all the necessary tools for success. We are committed to helping these young men and women become productive, successful members of society, both in sports and in life.

What ACF is Doing for Today's Youth


Many young student athletes spend their precious time narrowly focused on winning. This can lead to missing out on the true value of their development -– how it builds character, discipline and time-management skills. The lack of these essential life skill-sets can put them at risk and unprepared for the next stages of their lives.

A narrow focus on sports, lack of resources, limited education, lack of confidence, fear of failure and, conversely, assumption of success, can all be barriers to their future success.

Our vision is to utilize sports to help at-risk youth develop into well-rounded individuals ready to succeed in life. Our programs connect the discipline and perseverance they gain on the field and the court to their personal, academic and professional success. 

Our proven programs are designed to:

  • Develop character
  • Help youth become well-rounded 
  • Prepare student-athletes for life after sports
  • Create discipline and structure that becomes an opportunity


Dan Cross

Dan Cross is a University of Florida Hall of Fame basketball player who played point guard for the first Gator basketball team ever to advance to the Final Four. While in Florida, he was awarded many accolades, including two-time All-American, 1995 UF Male Athlete of the Year, and John Wooden Player of the Year Candidate.

Throughout his playing career, Dan saw firsthand how deeply troubled many athletes became once they progressed out of the educational system, and he has made it his life’s purpose to change that. In 2006, he created Athlete Connections Foundation with a vision to enhance youth sports by providing programs that create well-rounded student-athletes prepared to succeed in life.

Since then, Dan and his team of board members have enabled the Foundation to: 

  • Successfully helped place over 60 high school players into college over the last nine years.
  • Secure well over $6,000,000 in scholarship dollars, which provided scholarship funding to more than 60 graduating high school seniors.
  • Give away 50+ laptops to graduating seniors. 
  • Place more than 60 recruitable high school graduating seniors in D1 or D2 college athletic programs.
  • Provide $30,000+ in Christmas toys and holiday gifts to families and communities in need in Orlando, Florida.


Former Gator Dan Cross giving back



Williston Boys Basketball Top Lovett (GA) 61-51 in Florida Get Down Showcase




Panthers earn split at Florida Get Down Showcase