SOURCE: Cellular South

June 19, 2008 12:38 ET

Cellular South Gameplan Expands Its Playbook With New Web Site

Tennis Superstar Venus Williams Lends Support to Enhanced Web Site That Helps Student-Athletes to Meet NCAA Guidelines

JACKSON, MS--(Marketwire - June 19, 2008) - Cellular South, one of the nation's largest privately owned wireless carriers, today announced the latest addition to the Cellular South Gameplan playbook with the re-launch of the program's Web site, www.cellularsouthgameplan.com. The site is designed to help all Mississippi high school student-athletes find the information they need to qualify for college.

Sporting new graphics and a user-friendly interface, the revamped Cellular South Gameplan site is a useful tool for students, parents, coaches and counselors to help student-athletes in the state of Mississippi develop the study skills and habits to meet National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) admission standards for collegiate athletics. Other new features, such as an audio message from professional tennis star, and Cellular South Gameplan spokesperson, Venus Williams about the importance of education and a chance to win a free iPod, help make the Web site both useful and attractive for teenagers to visit.

"As a professional athlete and recent college graduate, I understand how challenging it is to excel at athletics and in the classroom, and the Cellular South Gameplan program does a great job in helping student-athletes take advantage of the scholarship opportunity," said Williams, the reigning Wimbledon singles champion and one of the world's top female tennis players with 14 Grand Slam titles. "I'm proud to be associated with the program."

Other features of www.cellularsouthgameplan.com include:

--  Cellular South Gameplan workshop information
--  A character test to help student-athletes understand the importance of
    good sportsmanship and being a productive member of the community
--  A guide to the 16 college prerequisite core course requirements as
    outlined by the NCAA
--  ACT/SAT overview and its role in the admissions process
--  Media Center with relevant videos and highlights
--  Important Links section that gives student-athletes easy access to
    organizations that can further guide them in the admittance process
    

Founded in January 2007 by Cellular South, in conjunction with the Mississippi Department of Education and the Mississippi High School Activities Association, Cellular South Gameplan not only educates student-athletes on NCAA requirements, but reaches them early in their high school careers to put them on a path to meet those requirements.

"Mississippi high schools are a hotbed of athletic talent that often doesn't translate into success at the college level because these student-athletes aren't aware of the NCAA requirements, or think they are on the right path when they really are not," said Orien Watson, sports marketing manager for Cellular South. "The goal of the Cellular South Gameplan is to reach all student-athletes in all sports and inform them about what they really need to do to qualify for that college scholarship."

Since its inception, the Cellular South Gameplan has evolved from an in-school grassroots program to a multifaceted initiative that reaches student-athletes in numerous ways, including:

--  In-school workshops with hands-on instruction on the college entrance
    process
--  Cellular South Gameplan DVD, a video production of the workshops that
    is available in schools across Mississippi to educate student-athletes
    anytime of the year
--  One-on-one counseling sessions with student-athletes who need the most
    help in qualifying for school
    

"What's most exciting is seeing how much the Cellular South Gameplan has grown and changed since we first started in early 2007," added Watson. "The results are beginning to show, but the real progress will be made with the 2009 and 2010 classes, who have been in the program for a few years. That's when we will see the true impact of the Cellular South Gameplan in Mississippi."

To date, the Cellular South Gameplan has helped more than 3,500 student athletes at 51 schools through May 2008 through the workshops and individual counseling sessions. The Cellular South Gameplan DVD is available at every high school in Mississippi and has reached more than 6,000 student-athletes since its release in January 2008.

For more information about the Cellular South Gameplan, call (601) 974-7706 or visit www.cellularsouthgameplan.com or www.cellularsouth.com.

About Cellular South

Cellular South is a privately owned diversified mobile communications company passionately committed to helping customers get the most out of their wireless devices and services. The company accomplishes this goal by providing the most reliable and advanced nationwide wireless voice and data network, offering a full range of industry-leading unlimited flat rate plans, and through the world's first integrated, interactive online and in-store experience that gives customers easy, simple and convenient solutions to all of their wireless lifestyle needs. For more information, visit www.cellularsouth.com.

About MHSAA

The Mississippi High School Activities Association is a non-profit, nondiscriminatory association operated by the state's secondary schools. The Association is responsible for academic and athletic competition among the 530,000 students in the state's public and private schools, including debate, drama, speech, writing, music and 14 different types of sports. The MHSAA also is responsible for 4,000 officials and referees, who are registered and certified through association clinics. For more information, visit www.misshsaa.com.

About Mississippi Department of Education

The Mississippi Department of Education is the state agency charged with oversight of all public K-12 schools in Mississippi, which includes over 1,000 schools in 152 districts, enrolling over 490,000 students. For more information, visit www.mde.k12.ms.us.

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:
    Kevin Dietz
    CKPR for Cellular South
    Office: (312) 616-6526
    Cell: (312) 287-6438
    E-mail: kdietz@ckpr.biz

    Jim Richmond
    Cellular South
    Office: (601) 974-7504
    E-mail: jrichmond@cellularsouth.com