Charlie Mercado, Gamepoint Basketball

Originally posted in Accessity Newsletter.

Gamepoint Basketball based out of Oceanside, California is an elite youth basketball club founded by Charlie Mercado in 2004 and serves young men ages 9-17. Charlie founded the business to give back to his community and stay connected to the sport he loved playing growing up and in college. Currently heading into its 18th season with locations in San Diego, Riverside and Orange counties, Charlie credits his amazing staff of 11 coaches and over thousands of players for Gamepoint’s success.

The shutdowns in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic forced Charlie to get creative and pivot through the challenging times. Facing facility closures, unpredictability, and financial insecurity, Charlie chose to put others before himself and made it a point to serve his community anyway. He gathered a team of coaches and players to volunteer to serve meals for the holidays at the San Diego Rescue Mission. In addition, Charlie and his team of coaches and players volunteered their time to wrap gifts and hold canned food drives for the Salvation Army. According to Charlie, “Gamepoint creates a culture of giving to everyone because of the coaches, players and their families involved who believe in the mission.”

In the midst of the uncertainty, Charlie became aware of Accessity and was approved for a Covid-19 Relief and Recovery Loan which he used as working capital to support his staff and put towards a new practice location and new uniforms for his players. Charlie states, “getting the money from Accessity—you can’t put a value on what it means to me and for our program.” Here at Accessity, we believe its Charlie’s relentless spirit of giving no matter what the circumstances are that has allowed him and his business to flourish despite the pandemic.

Gamepoint Basketball has now expanded to “the biggest its ever been” according to Charlie, offering a GP Student-Athlete Scholarships program that helps cover training and uniform fees for athletes that need it and has sent players from his program to USD, SDSU, UCSD, NYU, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, and more. Rest assured, Gamepoint Basketball is more than just a basketball program; Gamepoint creates basketball skills, life skills and character-building on and off the court.