5….4….3….2….1….RACE!!!! echoes through the arena as two teams comprised of five men and five women physically and strategically work their way across a four quadrant grid performing varied movements for one ultimate goal……. WIN!!!!!!

The National Pro Grid League (NPGL), founded by Tony Budding, is a professional sport utilizing strength, strategy and agility to complete a match comprised of 11 races that is fan friendly and full of high intensity energy.  Many have never heard of the NPGL, but are very familiar with the similar movements that are used in another popular work-out concept - Crossfit. Many walks of life have tried and fell in love with the varied movements that comprise this concept, making it arguably the fastest growing “sport” worldwide. With the introduction of the NPGL, professional teams will utilize these same challenging movements in a race setting creating the Grid League that opens doors for elite athletes to compete professionally on a higher level and receive payment and endorsements for their achievements. These same benefits already exist for athletes in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, etc. The introduction of the Grid has seized the opportunity for athletes that train hard and excel at a high level to exploit their skills and strengths, as a team, in the human performance setting while providing high energy entertainment to the public. The launch of this organization was rapid, with eight initial teams utilizing a series of combines to narrow the selection of elite athletes eligible for the inaugural draft.

Excitement, clapping, and congratulatory yelling break the silence of the anticipation filled arena as the NPGL founder and CEO, Tony Budding, announces - “With their first selection of the final pick of the first round, the Miami Surge select…. from Victoria, Texas…..Ricky Redus!!!!” At that moment, the young man from a small town near Victoria Texas was now a Professional Athlete. Many lives changed that July Thursday morning as the inaugural NPGL draft unfolded in the small arena in Fort Lauderdale Florida; and for Ricky, it was a dream come true!

Ricky Redus was born in Houston, Texas on January 8, 1993 and grew up in Inez, a small town outside of Victoria Texas with his parents and two brothers.  Fitness and sports have always been an integral part of his life, so it is no surprise he started playing organized sports when he was 7 years old. During high school he started as a defensive end for the Industrial Cobras football team and with the help of his coaches, his interest in weight lifting excelled. After high school, Ricky found himself training and attending college at Texas A&M - Kingsville. He was a member of the Texas A&M Kingsville Javelena football team for a short period of time before deciding to commit his efforts to Olympic Weightlifting and Crossfit.   Isaac Almeida of Fit Strong United (FSU) has been coaching Ricky for 3 years and has helped him build a foundation for his athletic endeavors. Olympic weight lifting has always interested Ricky and in 2013, he qualified and attended the American Open where he placed 14th overall in his weight class. This year he qualified for the USA Weightlifting National Championships (Olympic Weightlifting) and will attend the meet July 19, 2014. There is no question he has strength, but what also surprises fellow athletes and coaches is his well-rounded abilities that include excellent gymnastics skills, stamina, and his ability to make adjustments rapidly and efficiency when needed in workouts, all while maintaining a humble attitude that there is always room for improvement.

Ricky has grown as an athlete and as an individual through the years and has utilized several local and distant coaches to build his mental and physical strengths. As his strength and performance have improved, his skills as a coach have also developed and improved. He is currently a Crossfit coach and an Olympic Weightlifting coach at FSU. He also helps his coach, Ursula Papandrea, instruct Olympic Weightlifting Seminars under the Texas Barbell Club.

With the announcement of the National Pro Grid League, Ricky was excited, on-board and dedicated to perform and excel at a higher level to prove he had what it takes to be a professional athlete. His training magnified and his focus streamlined to get his mind and body ready to meet the challenge to become a professional. Long hours in the gym, a strict diet, intense mobilizing, and endless conversations with coaches to get his mind right were just a few details Ricky amped up in his training program.  So with the mind and body ready, the combines began.

There were 4 regional combines and one final combine that narrowed hundreds of athletes to a total of 10 men and 10 women. Ricky was among the final selection and was eligible for the inaugural NPGL draft. The draft occurred on Thursday July 10, 2014 in Fort Lauderdale Florida, and on the eighth pick of the first round, Ricky Redus was selected by the Miami Surge. His work and dedication paid off. He is now a professional athlete. “Now the real work begins” – Ricky Redus.

For more information about the NPGL visit www.npgl.com

Visit Ricky’s Facebook Fan Page at https://m.facebook.com/rickyredusgridathlete

For more information about the Miami Surge visit https://www.facebook.com/miamisurge

Article written by Mark Besancon