WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Summer basketball tournaments are commonplace, but usually at a college campus or a high school's home floor. This week, a number of teams made their way to their latest tourney - at the Wilmington Boys and Girls Club.
"We talked to the person that was in charge of the Boys and Girls Club, they were all about it and loved it," said Domique Owens, Laney's assistant coach. "We jumped on board with Hoggard High School, they were all about it, decided to put together a little tournament and clinic for the kids here."
Whether playing knockout or just shooting around – what precedes the games isn't just warmups, it's teaching the next generation of players who have goals just like the high school players did not long ago.
"I remember when I was these kids age and I would come to similar things like this," said Hunter Cook, a senior. "I would always look up to the high school kids and think, how cool it must be to play high school basketball."
"Kids looking up to me is really big," sophomore Sherod Sibbury said. "I try to go out and do my best, look my best around kids, show positive, positive everything."
The Boys and Girls Club is year-round, providing structure – so one day, these kids might be the next group of high school athletes giving back.
"It just helps a lot in your life when you grow up. They teach you a lot of things here," said Daquedri Howard, who has spent years at the Boys & Girls Club. "How to talk to certain people, eat a certain way, how to play basketball – they teach you a lot that will help you in your future career...It's fun, everyone plays basketball, everyone knows each other, it's family here."