ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Area high school basketball teams are gearing up to host a MLK Day Classic
12 teams, 6 games, and 2 missions.
To honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to raise money for Albany State University Athletics.
Kirven Davis, Khadijah Ali and Anthony Webb.
Three high school basketball coaches, bonded by their Alma mater Albany State University.
Their shared stomping grounds is the site of the MLK Day Classic, organized by Coach Davis and instantly backed by his fellow Golden Rams when the idea was presented.
“I didn’t have to think twice about it. I was all in,” said coach Ali of the dougherty High school girl’s basketball program.
“We was college teammates," said Coach Webb who is in his 1st year leading the Worth County boys,. "And anything I can do to help Coach Davis and especially my institution, I was all for it.”
Revenue from the classic will benefit the athletics program at ASU that Coach Davis noted some of the alumni base complains about.
Dr. King used to say, Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. That's the approach he's taking to impact improvements.
“It’s easy to stand back and criticize and say what we don’t do, but it takes effort and that’s the only way to promote change,” said Davis.
“Show me where your money goes, and I’ll tell you where your heart is,” said Ali referencing a word she heard in church the previous weekend.
“They definitely need the support of alumni, they need they need the support of the community, but they also need the resources to back everything that they’re trying to do.”
The coaches met at the Albany Civil Rights Institute this week to admire Dr. King's works.
Next Monday's event won't just be about raising funds and scoring buckets.
“It’s a day to give back and its especially a day to pay homage to Dr. King,” said Webb.
“My grandparents and great grandparents told the stories of struggle and the hardships they had to go through and I saw where I benefited from it,” said Davis.
“He was in Albany he was walking the streets of Albany so I think it’s important for us to let them know who’s footsteps we’re following in," said Ali.
And Coach Ali joked she will even incorporate some Dr. King into her pre-game speech.
“I’m going to tell my team listen Martin Luther King was a leader, I need y’all to lead, he was a fighter, I need y’all to fight.”
Here’s the schedule for January 21st at Albany State West campus:
12:30: Lee County vs. Brunswick (girls)
2:00: Monroe vs. Greenville (boys)
3:30: Monroe vs. Wilcox County (girls)
5:00: Lee County vs. Worth County (boys)
6:30: Colquitt County vs. Dougherty (girls)
8:00: Americus-Sumter vs. Colquitt County (boys)