Caz McCaslin, founder and president of Upwards Sports, will address the OBU community Wednesday, Oct. 28, during the 10 a.m. chapel in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium.
While serving as a church recreation director in upstate South Carolina, McCaslin developed a basketball league that incorporated athletic skills for success on and off the court, including sportsmanship, teamwork, leadership, effort and respect. Eventually the number of children wanting to play outpaced the capacity of the local church gymnasium. He then launched Upward Sports, with a vision was to reach children beyond his local congregation with a first-class sports experience and to promote the discovery of Jesus through sports.
Upward Sports is the only youth multi-sports experience that offers "The 360 Progression,” a uniquely designed total sports experience that adapts and expands as players develop and grow in their personal athletic journey, creating individuals with strong character, confidence and spirit. It is designed to provide a place to play for players of all skill levels, from kindergarten through high school.
Under McCaslin’s leadership, Upward Sports has grown from several hundred children playing in one church basketball league to the world’s largest Christian youth sports league, with more than half a million children playing in 5,000 programs (multisport clinics, camps, academies and leagues), with more than 2,000 church partners in 45 states. During the past 19 years, more than 5.5 million young athletes have been involved with Upward Sports.
"Upward Sports believes in providing our players with the best in coaching and competitive experience, enhanced with an intentional focus on creating men and women of character and strong moral fiber," McCaslin said. “Our aspiration is for all Upward Sports athletes to play with purpose, growing mentally, athletically, spiritually and socially.”
With more than 25 years of ministry experience, McCaslin is adept at equipping leaders to cultivate a spiritual foundation in America’s youth, a theme he explores in his most recent book, “Act or React: The Decision is Ours.” He is also the author of “Every Child is a Winner,” a book about developing childhood confidence to last a lifetime.
He resides in Spartanburg, South Carolina, with his wife, Leslie. A father to three daughters and two sons-in-law and a first-time grandfather, he is active in church and civic organizations in his community and has served on the boards of the South Carolina Christian Foundation and Hannah’s Hope, which supports families in crisis.