Coach Patty Medina founded Hooper Mentality after witnessing first hand the needs of the youth from basketball programs in the inner city areas of San Diego and Orange County. Medina has been coaching at many levels for 16 years and, throughout those years, has seen what depression, anxiety and mental health issues can do to athletes and coaches.
She has personally suffered from depression and has had to attend the funerals of former athletes that fell into depression or drug addictions and committed suicide. She's had athletes attending Alcoholics Anonymous at a very young age, teen pregnancy, and she has also watched athletes finish their basketball careers and fall into depression because they were not adequately prepared for the workforce.
Medina's goal is that Hooper Mentality will provide athletes, from middle school to college levels, the proper resources to deal with mental health issues and help diminish the stigma surrounding mental health issues in the minority community. Along with mental health related assistance, Hooper Mentality will provide resources for athletes in the areas of life skills and business skills. Topics such as: money management, business start up, resume building, interview skills and many more necessary areas of expertise that the educational system fails to emphasize.
"Mental illness doesn’t choose who is affected based on a person’s social status or circumstance." Medina states, "That means athletes are just as susceptible as anyone else." Medina acknowledges that there are platforms like, Players Tribune for example, for professional athletes to share their stories but the general population remains without access to a platform to voice their pain and struggles. Medina aims to make Hooper Mentality a safe haven for athletes of all levels to share their testimonies and find the necessary resources for whatever circumstance they are facing.
Medina received her bachelors in Sociology and has earned a Masters in Education and another in Organizational Leadership. She aspires to pursue her PhD in Sports Psychology in the near future and continue helping the youth.