HAWKINSVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Three Hawkinsville men have teamed up to inspire youth in their neighborhood.
If you walk into the Hawkinsville High School gym this summer there'll be a pick up game of basketball going on.
What's unique about this game is the young men and women aren't just playing for the highest score, they're learning how to better themselves.
Nevin Shennett is one of three Hawkinsville men behind the movement for change.
"For us growing up in the community, we saw that there's really not a great emphasis on future achievement," Shennett said.
His friend and co-founder Jeffrey Tarver came up with the idea for the Hawkinsville Hoops League.
"It's something positive that these kids can get involved in to help them in the future," Tarver said.
Tarver, Shennett, and their friend Tyler Jenkins took a leadership development course from the Archway Partnership, an outreach program from the University of Georgia.
They want these young people to become young professionals.
"I've ordered some neck ties, so we're going to teach all of the kids how to tie a neck tie and actually do some mock interviews so they'll have that experience of sitting in front of a panel," Tarver said.
The goal of the Hoops League is to inspire while having some fun. All three men say the participating kids didn't have a desire to go to college.
"After the first league, there were quite a few that actually told me colleges they wanted to attend and that was probably the most gratifying thing that happened," Shennett said.
The men and their volunteers want teens to be productive. Tarver wants to reach everyone.
"If I could see these guys 5,10 years from now actually doing something positive and for them to come back to us and say the stuff that I learned in the Hawkinsville Hoop League actually prepared me for life, that would definitely be a blessing," Tarver said.
Jenkins said, "These are our future congressmen, our future business leaders, our future teachers, and they could be our future presidents if we do it the right way, so I'm just here to make sure they find their road to success."
Three men, three different lives lived....one goal.
They want to see the young people in their neighborhood achieve.