TONEY, Ala. (WHNT) -When you learn to play basketball, typically, you start with basic skills like dribbling, shooting and fast footwork. However, the non-profit organization, Alabama Dream Basketball, is training kids physically and spiritually.
The beads of sweat are evidence of the hard work these kids are putting in at the Sparkman Middle School gym in Madison County. The donated space is where they practice with the Alabama Dream Basketball Organization. Coaches guide the boys and girls on the court and in life.
"Our mission is to inspire our youth for hope and understanding for God, academic achievement and discipline," says Jeffrey Carter, president of the Alabama Dream Basketball Organization. "We are helping our children become better Christian student athletes."
Carter started the non-profit and wants to build fundamental skills for them to be confident and reach success as basketball players and as people.
"A lot of them came in here just ready to run and do whatever, but the first thing we do is build discipline," explains Carter. "That's number one with us."
They also tutor and mentor the young people in the program, like 8th grader Jayla Fuller.
"They teach us right hand and left hand layups and they push us to do our hardest," says Fuller.
The 13-year-old knows there's a purpose behind all that pushing.
"They help you grow more and push you to do your hardest as a person."
WHNT NEWS 19's purpose for crashing the practice that day was to give out $319. Carter couldn't be more grateful.
"Donations like this are very helpful," says Carter. "It helps us purchase more equipment for the kids to train and more coolers. Every time we come into training or practice, we do supply water and ice for the kids so they will have something to drink. We want them to feel important every time they step into the gym."
Carter says the money is very helpful because they also have a long term goal of being able to provide scholarships and make participation totally free.