CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – From dropping dimes on the court to assisting their community, three local men are looking to impact the younger generation in the Charleston area through the game of basketball.
Travis Smith is the Head Junior Varsity and Assistant Varsity Basketball Coach at Porter Gaud High School.
When Coach Smith isn’t on the court, he is out volunteering with the 20/20 Youth Organization, a non-profit he helped co-found alongside Tre McLean, a West Ashley high school alum who currently plays basketball overseas in Greece, and Delonza Simmons, who is heavily involved in youth sports in the Downtown Charleston area.
20/20 is dedicated to “guiding Lowcountry athletes to become unconditional champions,” according to the mission statement.
“We wanted to come up with a plan to help middle school children in the Charleston area reach their full potential,” said Smith. “Kids that don’t necessarily have the whole gamut when it comes to support systems, grades, NCAA eligibility, and what it takes to be an athlete.”
As sports changed the lives of the founders of 20/20, they hope that their non-profit does the very same for the kids in the community.
“Basketball has taken me to a whole lot of places that probably would’ve been hard for me to get to without it,” said Smith. “But I’ve learned a lot. Through athletics, we want to reach these kids in the area and help them become better people.”
The organization has already done a Back to School Drive where they gave away over 500 backpacks.
On December 5th, The 20/20 Youth Organization will be having their Coats and Cocoa Winter Festival from 1:00 pm. to 4:00 p.m. at the Jenkins Institute for Children.
They will have a coat giveaway, s’mores, face painting, music, and a Christmas raffle for a brand new Xbox series X.
COVID-19 safety precautions will be followed at this event.
“I’ve been able to give back to where I’m from and there is no greater feeling,” said Smith. “I have had successes as a high school player, college player, and I had a brief career overseas so I have seen basketball at all three levels. Just using the knowledge and the resources that I gained over the years to help impact the next generation, I feel like is an amazing opportunity.”
To donate or find out how you can get involved, visit https://www.the2020youthorganization.org/
20/20 will be having a basketball tournament geared towards rising 6th-9th grade at the North Charleston Recreation Center in May 2021.