Urbana University to Transition to Prep Academy


By: Alli Harlan

Urbana is the home to the new developing pros in life and sports programs through the DNA Academy and PDI.

In 2020, Urbana University closed its campus, leaving it empty, but now plans are falling into place.

On Saturday, PDI by DNA Prep Academy hosted a Media Day event in the gymnasium of the old Urbana University.

The event allowed attendees to meet Coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson, learn about PDI, and witness the unveiling of the groundbreaking initiative.

During the event, they mentioned that “PDI is not just a school; it’s a transformative experience for aspiring athletes. With a focus on historic development, PDI will provide top-tier training, academic support, and mentorship to help students excel both on and off the court.”

The program features:

  • Semi-Pro League IPDIL
  • Students receiving sport-specific training, performance training, mental strengthening, and advanced game theory
  • Full-service boarding school and day school options
  • NCAA compliant
  • 4 sports; baseball, basketball, football, and soccer
  • 45 minutes from 2 international airports, and 12 metro areas within 3 hour’s drive

On the classroom side of things, the program is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools (WASC).

Their curriculum is the following:

  • Flexible, hybrid
  • Grades 6-13
  • A-G curriculum
  • Dual Enrollment Program
  • Junior College Partnership
  • Credit Recovery Capability
  • Financial Literacy Classes
  • Social Media Marketing Classes
  • Content Creation Classes
  • Film and Entertainment Classes
  • Brand Management Classes
  • Intellectual Property Classes
  • In-person classes with professors
  • Tutoring services
  • Internships
  • Apprenticeship program
  • Name Image Likeness Dept.
  • Certifications
  • Career Development Dept.

Many people were at the event, one being the Mayor of Urbana, Bill Bean.

He talks about what this will bring to the Champaign County Community:

It was mentioned during the event that 40 players from New York traveled to Ohio for the event.

The following staff and coaches were also in attendance:

  • Eric Mieese
  • John Van Houten
  • Tramain Hall
  • Emanuel Richardson
  • Frank Robinson
  • Max Walker
  • Jamie Sprinkle

On May 15th, there will be an online information session where the participants and the public are welcome to ask questions or get connected.

Lastly, we spoke with Tramain Hall, Director of Campus, and caught up with him on what to expect: