COACH PATTY MEDINA
Coach Patty Medina founded Hooper Mentality in 2020 after witnessing first hand the needs of the youth in the inner city areas of San Diego and Orange County. These areas lacked free sports programs for their community and the focus on mental health awareness. Medina has personally suffered from depression and has had to, unfortunately, attend the funerals of former players that fell into depression or drug addictions. She has also watched athletes finish their athletic careers and fall into depression because they were not adequately prepared for the workforce or life after sports.
Coach Patty's goal is that Hooper Mentality will provide athletes, from middle school to college levels, proper resources to deal with mental health issues and help diminish the stigma surrounding mental health in the minority communities. Along with mental health related assistance, Hooper Mentality will provide resources for athletes in 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 and develop.
"Mental illness doesn't choose who is affected based on a person's social status or circumstance," Coach Patty states, "That means athletes of all ages and backgrounds are just as susceptible as anyone else." She aims to make Hooper Mentality a safe haven for athletes of all levels to share their testimonies and find the necessary resources to whatever struggle or circumstance they are facing. In 2023, Coach Patty became certified as a Mental Health First Aid instructor. She hopes to be able to certify coaches and athletic staff to be able to better serve the student-athletes holistically.
Since starting Hooper Mentality, Coach Patty has hosted free basketball camps in Sonora, Mexico; San Diego, California; San Antonio, Texas; Laurel, Maryland and Detroit, Michigan. All camps are funded through the sales of Hooper Mentality hoodies and t-shirts. 100% of the proceeds go to making sure the camps are free to the participants and include lunch.
Coach Patty has been coaching basketball for 18 years, many of those years have been at the collegiate level. Most recently she transitioned into athletic administration, becoming one of the few Latina Athletic Directors at the collegiate level. Coach Patty currently resides in Maryland with her teenage son, Jahlani. She received her bachelors from San Diego State University and has earned a Double Masters, one in Education and one in Organizational Leadership.