9-year-old, NBA-hopeful from Elyria selling lemonade to raise money for basketball camp

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ELYRIA, Ohio (WJW) — There are many ways you can make it to the NBA. You can have great ball skills. Or a wicked jump shot.

Or you can build a brand that will allow you to be a part of the game in ways where you either teach, organize or even one day own your own team.

At 9 years old, Sean Gettis of Elyria has time to figure out not only his basic ball skills, but how to build a brand that distinctly says, “Sean Gettis.” To expand that brand, he’s taking his basketball knowledge online.

“I want to be the point guard to dribble the ball, shoot the ball and run the offense,” Sean said.

Sean has quite a few instructional videos on YouTube actually, showing other kids the drills they’ll need to be successful.

Sean’s dad, Stephen, said his son is not just a player but a student of the game who creates plays, studies great players and plays in four different leagues from AAU to school leagues. But those leagues cost money and as a successful brand and content creator, he had to look for a way to expand the revenue stream.

“I said to him if this is what we’re going to be doing we’ve got to figure out a business model to help cut some of our costs, so we started the lemonade stand,” his dad said.

But it’s not your typical lemonade stand.

They opened up in front of their house last summer and made the Elyria Chronicle Telegram. But that was during the summer, and this winter they took it viral.

“My goal is to make it to the NBA, and I make lemonade and iced tea for $5 a gallon to raise money for leagues camps and clinics,” said Sean in a YouTube video on his channel.  

Now they have a lemonade empire of sorts with money raised going to pay basketball, but also to teach lessons about building community through providing a product and sharing knowledge and dreams.

“It’s important because I can help people and if they don’t have anybody who can help them, they can come to me,” Sean said.

Sean said it’s also about helping your community. He and his dad say it’s not just funding basketball dreams, but giving back and preparing him for life whether it’s on the court, the training room or the board room. 

Sean knows that making it onto the floor of Rocket Mortage FieldHouse as a point guard won’t be easy. But when you watch what he’s doing the person who should be looking over his shoulder isn’t another player, but perhaps the owner of the team.

And along the way making him into the best Sean Gettis that he can be.

“I learned that you have to keep going and don’t give up,” Sean said.

If you would like to find our more about Sean’s online lemonade and sweet tea stand or watch some of his basketball and community videos, click here.

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