Ivory Coast-born Hamed Badini was a member of Starfinder’s Class of 2011. He attended Parkway Center City High School and joined Starfinder after meeting founder Tony Williams while playing with Fairmount Soccer Club’s U19 team. Currently Hamed works at a grocery store and is a driver for Uber, and he hopes to return to college soon. He still plays pick-up soccer every Saturday in Chester with friends.
How are the lessons you learned at Starfinder helping you now?
I learned self discipline. There was a huge emphasis on academics at Starfinder. If you couldn’t do the work in the classroom, you couldn’t play on the field. It used to frustrate me because all I wanted to do was play soccer, but I worked hard on the academics. Now I understand why it was important and that hard work has paid off.
What’s one great memory of your time at Starfinder?
Coach Blake was one of my favorite people at Starfinder. He was the best coach because he was both fun and strict at the same time. One day we were doing the drills and not taking them seriously, so he got angry and made us do sprints for a long time. A couple friends and I didn’t want to do sprints, so we hid behind the curtain. We didn’t think he knew we were hiding since there were so many kids running at the same time, but he did. The following week he made us run even more sprints. We never hid again.
Do you have any advice for kids currently at Starfinder?
The coaches taught me that all the little things can add up to a big success. The little drills you don’t feel like doing or don’t find important will pay off in the end. Today I take advantage of every opportunity no matter how small.