Jude Joseph Baptiste was born on May 3rd, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York to Altagrace Baptiste and Joseph Dorval. Soon after, Jude's parent's decided to move the family to Manhattan and reside uptown in the section of Harlem, New York. The family settled in the Polo Grounds Towers at 155th Street and Eighth Avenue and placed Jude at St. Aloysius Catholic School. At St. Aloysius, Jude learned and fell in love with math and history. He also fell in love with sports, playing basketball, baseball, and football.
After graduating from St. Aloysius, Jude attended Rice High School and joined the St. Aloysius Teen Club, where he would meet with friends and classmates twice a week. He admired the volunteers and mentors who helped with the teen club. These folks took the time to help the kids in the club, and to help the community. Jude never forgot that.
After graduating from Rice High School, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps for four years, receiving a Honorable Discharge in 1985. Jude joined the banking industry for four years. In 1989 he joined TIAA-CREF, Teachers Insurance. At TIAA-CREF, Jude volunteered for various community related activities but his heart was searching for something bigger. He wanted to help kids in some community. He set his sights back to Harlem and in October 1993, he volunteered his time at Kennedy Center. He, along with the Kennedy Center staff, created the Basketball Youth Program on Saturday mornings.
Jude was fulfilling his dream - a passion inspired by the volunteers years ago at the St. Aloysius Teen Club. He took his dream to another level, and coached a girl's basketball team for two years at All Saints School. Along the way, he continued to learn the game, and meet new people. He still came back to Kennedy Center to help out on Saturdays with the Basketball Youth Program. In 1998, he was named Program Director, and the program was renamed The Saturday Basketball Program. The program grew from 12 to 80 children. Jude's long time friend, Tony Afflick became the Assistant Program Director and together performed program coordination duties, organizing field trips, tournaments and networking with various community centers outside New York City. In November, 2001 the Catholic Youth Organization honored both Jude Baptiste and Tony Afflick with the "CYO Volunteer Of The Year Award" for their community service.
In June 2002 both men decided to take their destinies into their own hands to form their own program, Gladiator Sports, Inc. Jude Baptiste was named President. He continues to serve the community, teaching the kids about sports and life itself. "We are a team, which means for us, TOGETHER EACH ACHIEVES MORE. The Lord has given us Gladiator Sports to teach young boys and girls about sports, and educate to excel in life".