Mission Statement:

To motivate, inspire and educate student athletes to maximize their potential both in their sport and in life.

Why a giraffe?

A giraffe is the only animal that has an aerial perspective so it can see the big picture but also has its feet firmly on the ground so it does not lose context with reality and that’s the same ability and mindset we strive to develop in all student athletes.

Hoop Laude

/ho͞op/ ˈlau̇-də
Pronounced: hoop law-dee
Definition: a tool used by student athletes to level up their game, their academics, and their life.
Hoop - Originally inspired from the sport (basketball) that brought Big Brotha Bel, the founder, success as a student athlete in high school and college.
Laude - “laude,” a Latin term referencing graduating with honors or academic distinction. Similar to : summa cum laude or magna cum laude.
Created in 2015 | Hoop Laude was developed to motivate, inspire, and educate student athletes to maximize their potential in both their sport and in their life. Information is often times told from a lens of basketball student athletes because that’s what afford the Big Brotha Bel the opportunity to be a student athlete in college but is applicable to all sports of student athletes.

About the Founder

Big Brotha Bel: An Underdog
Big Brotha Bel (Belford F. Williams, Jr.) is a former student athlete who played basketball at both Utah State - Eastern in Price, Utah and Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.  He currently serves as a Student Affairs Professional at the university level in his 10th year, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication,  Masters degree in Sports Admin and is current a student within a Master of Business Administration program. He is an educator, speaker , storyteller  and advocate of student athletes of all levels.
This is a long cry from where he began. In middle school, Big Brotha Bel failed both the sixth and eighth grades and was placed in special education classes. His sister, who was five years his junior, was able to complete his homework. Due to his struggle in academics, dreams of college  were not thought to be possible.
But after discovering a talent for the game of basketball in his freshman summer in year of high school, he found a new motivation for academics. Bel is often quoted by saying “If it wasn’t for basketball I wouldn’t have step foot on a college campus.” That motivation led to full-ride student athlete scholarships to two colleges.
His experience in improving his grades, raising his game, earning a scholarship, and navigating life as a former student athlete is something that all student athletes will benefit from. His natural enthusiasm for helping his younger teammates transitioned into the founding of Hoop Laude.
Big Brotha Bel combines the experience of a successful athlete, the direction of coach, the advantages of a mentor, and the care like a brother to help motivate , inspire and educate student athletes to maximize their potential both in their sport and in life.
Learn more about Big Brotha Bel here.
Circle Logo of Stretch Mascot

Stretch Fun Facts:

Name: Stretch
Also Known As : The long neck stallion
Height: 8ft 4inches
Weight: see above
Birthplace : Tallberry, Neckadelphia
Go to move: Double Neck over that goes into a sky hook (unblockable)
Nickname: Stretchy
Best Known For: Smile and ability to balance school and basketball
Favorite food: Anything left on the top shelve
Favorite movieMadagascar (because, Melman)
Mission in Life: Make Mom Proud
Little Known Facts: Was blocked by Benny The Bull on TikTok for being too tall.

Book Club


Big Brotha Bel didn't read his first full-length chapter book until the age of 24 years old.  It wasn’t until his college professor challenged him, and he rose to the challenge.


Bel also realized in college that his lack of reading in previous years--middle and high school, for instance--left him at a disadvantage compared to his more well-read peers. While his peers were easily digesting the reading material assigned, Bel struggled to understand the in-depth texts because he didn’t have a strong literary foundation off which to build.


This is why Big Brotha Bel is an advocate for literacy among student-athletes. He challenges young student-athletes to read beyond what is just required in school.


On this page, you'll find recommended books by Big Brotha Bel himself. Check back often for new titles!



Work on Your Game

Dre Baldwin

Energy Bus

Jon Gordon

with Jon Gordon

For the other 98%

Krystal Beachum

Life is Not an Accident : A memoir of Reintervention


Champion's Creed

Marke Z. Freeman

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie


Hustle Harder , Hustle Smarter

Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson


It's not over until you win

Les Brown


Fail Up

Tavis Smiley


Purple Cow

Seth Godin