Dan Cross is a University of Florida Hall of Fame basketball player who played point guard for the first Gator basketball team ever to advance to the Final Four. While at Florida, he was awarded many accolades, including two-time All-American, 1995 UF Male Athlete of the Year as well as John Wooden Player of the Year Candidate.

Throughout his playing career, Dan saw firsthand how deeply troubled many athletes became once they progressed out of the educational system, and has made it his life’s purpose to change that. In 2006, he created Athlete Connections Foundation with a vision to enhance youth sports by providing programs that create well-rounded student athletes prepared to succeed in life.

Since then, Dan and his team of board members have enabled the Foundation to: 

  • Successfully help place over 60 high school players into college over the last nine years
  • Secure well over $6,000,000 in scholarship dollars which provided scholarship funding to more than 60 graduating high school seniors
  • Give away 50+ laptops to graduating seniors 
  • Place more than 60 recruitable high school graduating seniors in D1 or D2  college athletic programs
  • Provide $30,000+ in Christmas toys and holiday gifts to families and communities in need in Orlando, Florida

Board Members

“I have lived all around the world in countries where I have witnessed wars and killings stop for a day, all because of the love of sport and competition.  I have seen what sports has done to impact cultures, seeing different religions and races come together (if only for a little while). 

I have observed Kings, Queens, Presidents and countries that do not get along nor believe in the same things shake hands out of respect and love for the “Game”. I have witnessed peace and love fill large stadiums just because of sport and competition, where fans and players alike all had one goal in common! WIN! 

I know the impact sports has had on my life and my family’s. It saved my life and protected me from many hurts, harms and dangers! Sports gave me the opportunity to receive a free education and it taught me many disciplines. It developed character and structure that provided high level skill sets that will last a lifetime! 

That is the level of impact sports has on our community, our society, our economics, our world and our youth! The impact of sport changes lives!” 

Dan Cross – Founder, Athlete Connections Foundation