April 2018: Taleka Waters


Taleka Waters is a long-time Monarchs parent and team manager. A Philadelphia native, she is the Assistant Principal at Universal Institute Charter School in South Philadelphia. Taleka and her husband Chris have two sons, Chris and Josh, who are members of our 15U and 9U cohorts. Both boys attend the Haverford School. We asked Taleka to play "3 Up, 3 Down" with us.



1.    Who are three people who had an impact on your life?

It is very hard to focus on only three people that have had an impact on my life.  There have been so many influential people that have contributed to who I am today that I believe it would dishonor those that I did not mention.  So I would like to speak to the importance of the  statement, “It takes a village.” I grew up in the inner city of Philadelphia in an area similar to many of our Monarch youth.  It took the support of neighbors, relatives, coaches, and teachers to keep me on the right trajectory. The Monarch program is truly the village that supports the lives of children that may not be successful in other areas of their lives.  This program creates an environment for children to feel successful, which propels them to excel in other areas of their lives.   Playing with the Monarchs allows every child to interact with positive individuals and family, including coaches, team parents, and all the caring adults that stand on the sideline to give verbal praise and support.  


2.    What are three strong memories you have from your time with the Monarchs?

1-    Joshua’s excitement of becoming an official Monarch and getting his uniform after so many years of watching his brother play.

2-    Christopher's team winning our first Tri-State Elite Baseball League Championship in 2015 (the first of three straight!)

3-    Chris going to Florida at age 14 to play baseball without his parents - this demonstrated his independence and growth.


3. What are three things you find yourself having to tell Josh and Chris over and over again?

1- Please make sure you have everything! 

2- Have fun!

3- Use what you learn in practice.


Bonus: What does “The Monarch Way” mean to you?

To be a Monarch means to:

Be humbled

Be educated 

Be a team player

Be Prepared

As a Monarch my sons have learned that winning isn’t everything. They have learned the importance of facing their opponent with integrity during victory as well as defeat. My sons have learned how the ups and downs of the game can relate to the trials and tribulations of everyday life (school, friendships, and their choices). They have learned that their individual choices affect everyone (this can be a hard lesson for adults to understand, and its great to see my kids learning it at a young age).

March 2018: Tasheed Carr


"What are 3 Qualities That Separate Great Players From Good Players?"

1. An understanding of the game on a high level.

2. Attention to detail.

3. An ability to maximize the use of strengths and limit the exposure of weaknesses.


"Where are 3 Places You've Been That You'd Like to Visit Again?"

1. China

2. Israel

3. Barcelona, Spain

"Mostly because I went only for basketball reasons but as an adult I could better appreciate the opportunity to benefit personally and professionally."


"Who are 3 Great Teachers You've Had?" 

1. "Ms. Jones my kindergarten teacher. She believed in me from the beginning and told me I could be something special."

2. "Gil and Kyle Cosby my first AAU coaches...they showed me the important role a coach or mentor can play and how that can impact lives." 

3. "Jay Larannaga my coach in the NBA Development League who is currrently an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics. He has a great understanding of the detail of the game, and he wanted players to be successful individually in addition to as a team." 


"What Does 'The Monarch Way' Represent to You?"

"A program that is run with integrity. A program that is invested in kids in the sports world as well as the real world."