KINSTON HEAT BASKETBALL by Wanda Armstead Smith

The HEAT is on again in Kinston!
A new season of elite basketball is well underway. Founded in 2006 by coaches, James Davis and Thomas Moore, Kinston Heat Basketball is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization that has truly been making a difference in the lives of young men in Kinston, NC. In a city that has been plagued with crime, the basketball program is doing their part in producing men and athletes by holding their players accountable for high moral character, academic achievement and community service. Starting with only 15 players, the program has touched the lives of at least 55 young men, teaching them the fundamentals of basketball and life. Players are required to maintain a C or better average and have to show their actual progress and report cards to remain in the program. “There have been times when we’ve had homework sessions (instead of practice) if we see they need it” Davis recalls. They even have parent and teacher volunteers who help tutor players.

Kinston Heat Basketball now has 4 teams who travel all over the country, competing in basketball games and tournaments. Of course, there are many costs associated with the organization. “We don’t like to turn anyone away”, Davis explained. All of the players who come through their program stay with them from start to finish through high school. Since they do not receive government funding, the teams hold several fundraising events and have to rely on sponsor support to help cover tournament fees, uniforms and travel expenses. “We have a great group of parents and sponsors who make this team a success—We’re one big family!” Davis said proudly. “It’s so nice when you hear the parents say THANK YOU!”

The support of the community plays an integral role to this organization’s success. “When the teams travel to away games, there are usually 7-10 car loads from Kinston” he adds. With registrations in the USBA, ACA Hoops and AAU leagues, the Kinston Heat Basketball team keeps a busy game schedule and competes in at least 2-3 tournaments a year. The official season usually starts in the spring once the local sports season concludes, giving players who are involved with other sports a chance to participate. Another major benefit of being part of Kinston Heat Basketball is the exposure from scouts. In fact, Cross Roads Elite Camp, a camp for elite basketball hopefuls, will be at Fairfield Recreation Center on November 10th in Kinston to check out the area's top 6th - 8th grade prospects like the stars on Kinston Heat Basketball teams.

To prepare for the upcoming season, the organization will be hosting several fundraisers. The teams will be selling Kripsy Kreme donuts the first two weeks in January. They will also be hosting their own basketball tournament, which will consist of 20-30 teams, at local gyms throughout Kinston March 30-March 31, 2013. Kinston Heat Basketball is looking to expand their fan base and to increase awareness of the positive things the organization is doing for the city’s youth.

To donate, volunteer or for more info, please contact Co-founders James Davis @ 252-525-7409 or Thomas Moore @ 252-268-2034

Website-here
Email: kinstonheatbasketball@yahoo.com
Mailing Address: Kinston Heat Basketball--P.O. Box 1962, Kinston, NC 28503

"Coming together is a beginning--Keeping together is a progress--Working together is success.”—--Kinston Heat Basketball

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