Xtreme 365 founder Quintin Love, Jr. (L) and coach Terrence Kendricks (R) pose together after leading trainees through a Friday afternoon workout in August. Credit: Courtney Wise Randolph
Itâ€™s 3 p.m. on a muggy Friday afternoon; the sun feels like itâ€™s shining brighter just to get a closer look at the unexpected scene in a Midtown Detroit garage where a boom box plays bleeped hip hop to motivate seven elementary- and middle-school-aged boxers. The youngest, a rising third grader on their third day of training for the sport, is wrapping up conditioning laps and running toward a pack of cold waters. The rising ninth grader, a girl who has been training for a little more than a year in this garage-turned-boxing gym, is being coached to perfect her fighterâ€™s stance.
The flurry of activity is all being choreographed by someone wrapping up childhood himself, 17-year-old Quintin Love, Jr.
When COVID-19 forced in-person school and youth programs to shut down in March 2020, Love went home and launched a mentoring-through-boxing program in his garage. More accurately, Xtreme 365 was founded in his parentsâ€™ garage, when Love was just 15.
Now in the second week of his senior year at Cass Technical High School, the teen is maintaining a 3.5 grade point average, preparing college applications, running a second side business as a photographer and seeking a building to house his growing boxing program.
â€œBoxing is the catchâ€”what we bond through,â€ Love said. â€œBut this isnâ€™t just about teaching kids how to fight. Itâ€™s about teaching kids how to navigate life and be good people.â€
Self-aware and self-possessed, Love is convincing as a mentor despite his age. â€œI know my experiences are limited,â€ he acknowledged, â€œbut I give back what I do have. Some of the kids in my program are going to high school, so I teach them about what thatâ€™s like.”
Love picked up his boxing and training skills at Detroitâ€™s Downtown Boxing Gym, a youth education and athletics nonprofit where he began training at 8 years old. If you notice any similarities between Loveâ€™s goals for his mentees and DBGâ€™s motto, â€œWe Train Kids for Life,â€ thatâ€™s not much of a coincidence.
Love launched Xtreme 365 in direct response to the needs he and other DGB students experienced early in the pandemic. He described being in his own boxing groove, wanting to maintain his skill, and thinking that it would be good to invite other students from the gym to join him outdoors and continue training.
â€œA few weeks after [DBG was] shut down, I started coaching some of the kids and theyâ€™d come and say, â€˜You can actually do this,â€™â€ he said.
Loveâ€™s Xtreme 365 program has since grown to seven full-time traineesâ€”including Terrence Kendricks, an Albion College student, fellow photographer and now Xtreme 365 coach. Similarly to DBG, Xtreme 365 uses boxing to help youth develop skills in social-emotional wellness, discipline and physical health. For children and teens, training is totally free. (Love also offers personal training for adults.) His long-term vision is to grow the program to serve 100 students, with an initial goal to enroll 25 trainees by the end of this year.
â€œBesides boxing, I want to teach the kids who come here to be good people overall,â€ Love said. â€œAnd, I hope Iâ€™m showing them that you donâ€™t have to wait to be grown to chase your dreams. You can start now. Iâ€™m building my dream out of a garage and making all of this happen. Thereâ€™s no excuse for why you shouldnâ€™t be able to do what you want to do.â€
One of his students, a 13-year-old girl named Jacobi Cohen, said she appreciates that Love and his fellow coach Terrence Kendricks are fun and approachable, even though the boxing training is hard. She also said Xtreme 365 helps her do well academically.
â€œThe program motivates me for more than just the physical attributes,â€ Cohen said. â€œLike, when I don’t feel like getting out of bed or doing anything, I think about how after working out, it makes me happy. Granted, during, it’s very hard and irritating. But it does make me happy for what Iâ€™ve done and it makes me more motivated to do my schoolwork, because if I can push myself to do something that’s hard but fun, I can push myself to do something that’s very mandatory.â€
Thatâ€™s the kind of mental fortitude Love is excited to grow in the young people he now mentors. Heâ€™s been able to fund resources like boxing gloves, punching bags, water and snacks for the free training program with profits from JR Films, the photography and videography business he founded last year. His website and Instagram pages showcase his work capturing local prep football and basketball games, senior photos sessions, baby showers and more. Heâ€™s also received donations from students’ parents and his neighbors who have watched the program grow from their porches and windows.
DBG founder Khali Sweeney, who remains one of Loveâ€™s closest mentors, views Loveâ€™s progress with Xtreme 365 as both excellent and unsurprising. He described Love as a remarkably thoughtful, intelligent and diligent young man equipped with an outstanding support system.
â€œQue has two great parents who are involved in his life, and they allowed the community to come support what they had already put in him,â€ Sweeney said.
I always tell people, I wouldn’t do the work that I do today, if I didn’t see one of our young people picking up the torch or picking up the baton, and carrying it on,â€ he added. â€œThis is what I sacrifice forâ€”for the greater good of the community to make sure that other people can pick up that baton if something ever happens to me.â€
Love, who is still deciding where he will attend college next year, has expressed a strong interest in studying in or very near Detroit. Thatâ€™s important to him because he believes Detroit is the perfect place for his dreams to take root and flourishâ€”despite the narrative he’s heard in media and from some of the adults who love him. Instead of accepting the idea that his ambitions can be most successful only if he leaves the city and builds elsewhere, he said, â€œIâ€™m a prime example that good things happen in Detroit.â€
As long as there is no heavy rain or snow, Loveâ€™s Xtreme 365 program operates from his garage three afternoons per week, free for school-aged youth. In addition, he offers boxing training and conditioning for adults on the weekends at a rate of $25 per hour. Donations to support the growth of Xtreme 365 are currently being accepted via Zelle at 3137187142 and Cash App $ALotALove. Inquiries about registration for Xtreme 365 and even personal training can be directed to Quintin Love, Jr. directly at QueJunior04@gmail.com.