YMCA Georgia Kings help students shoot for success - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

YMCA Georgia Kings help students shoot for success

(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

The YMCA Georgia Kings is a non-profit traveling basketball organization. 

The program encourages players to become productive citizens in the community, excelling students in the classroom, and great athletes on the court. 

“When it comes to try outs we try to divide all the kids among multiple teams giving more kids the opportunity to participate. That allows us to have more kids in the gym playing basketball and less in the streets," said YMCA Manager Gerald Ogeltree.

The program is designed to provide opportunities for young men to increase their chances of earning an athletic scholarship by stressing academic awareness and athletic training.

Winston Johnson who is the coach for the Georgia Kings says everyone who works for the program are graduates of Columbus State University.

“We are doing what we are telling these kids to do, we are promoting higher education," said Johnson.

These athletes have the opportunity to compete in travel basketball tournaments during the spring and summer months.

This experience gives these young men exposure to college life and the opportunity to be introduced to hundreds of college recruiters.

“Basketball can only take you so far if you don't have the education you're not going to go anywhere with just basketball," said Johnson.

These athletes are required to maintain a minimal grade point average of 2.75, have an interest in attending college, complete at least 40 hours of community service, attend a mandatory sat prep course and have no disciplinary issues at school or home.
 
These are all requirements that have helped past star athletes make it big in their careers, including Corey Crawford who played for Clemson University and now plays for the Washington Redskins.

In April and July the team head to Atlanta and Dallas to play against teams from around the country. These players hope to catch the eye of college recruiters in hopes to becoming the next college athlete to earn a scholarship from the Columbus area. 

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