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About Us

About The Founder


“Growing up as a Black American youth in two high-risk neighborhoods, I’ve experienced many of the same social, economic, and academic challenges as the young people I encounter in the school systems where I work. Without the guidance and support I received from school and community resources, my life’s journey may have been paved with truancy, juvenile detention, or even death–as happened to many of my childhood friends. 

Strong role-modeling and leadership by athletic coaches, mentors, school counselors and other committed community members, enabled and empowered me to avoid and overcome obstacles to become a productive and independent adult. My goal is to provide the same guidance, knowledge and access to opportunities for children whose young life experiences mirror my own.”

Albert Nolen is ideally suited to run The Al Nolen Foundation. His passion for basketball and youth have been evident throughout his career. He played Division I basketball for the University of Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Marketing. After graduation, Al was drafted by and played in the NBA G-League, completing his professional basketball career in Germany and the Czech Republic. After returning to Minnesota, Al started his career in education with the Minneapolis and Osseo Public School districts, including eight years working with at-risk youth, as well as coaching middle and high school varsity basketball. In addition, Al is director and facilitator of the Al Nolen Elite Basketball Skills Training program. He has also served as a volunteer, mentor, and coach to many community programs including children’s hospitals, the Hope Kids Festival, and Feed My Starving Children.

Make A Difference Today

Our Mission

To create an affirming and supportive environment that nurtures high risk youth on their journey to overcome emotional trauma, social isolation and economic hardships.

Our Method:

We seek to connect with young people through a shared love of basketball and athletics– to build their self confidence–then transition that confidence into academic success. By working to build their leadership and life skills, The Al Nolen Foundation will assist them in their goals to become productive and positive members of our community. 

Our Values