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Pastor plans 2nd ‘Hoops N Haven’ tournament for scholarship fund

The first Hoops N Haven event was successful, but there was not enough money raised to give any student a scholarship, the organizer said.

City of Grace church started the event last year to raise money for the Richardson Dickey Flowers 54442 athletic scholarship, said Pastor Jerry Kelly.

The numbers on the scholarship represent the athletes’ jersey numbers; Jevonta L. Dickey was number 54, Shaquan Richardson was number 4, and Peyton Flowers was number 42. Dickey and Richardson played football together for Brookhaven High School, and Flowers played football for Loyd Star High School; the teens died in the fall of 2014.

The scholarship was formed to give athletes of the Brookhaven and Loyd Star area additional funds for college in the athletes’ memory.

“We raised $250, and I didn’t feel like that was adequate amount enough to give, Kelly said. “That $250 has been rolled over to this year.”

The scholarship recipients were already selected last year, and Kelly wants to acknowledge them along with two more athletes from Brookhaven High School and Loyd Star Attendance Center during the schools’ sports banquets.

Kelly hopes to collect more money this year with their GoFundMe page and the second annual Hoops N Haven tournament.

The goal is to raise $5,000, which will go toward the scholarships and youth community activities.

The pastor has even started a youth school supply drive at his church during its Fresh Fire Revival.

“I get the guest ministers and speakers and open up to the general public to bring school supplies,” Kelly said. “Each minister brings supplies. At the end of the week, I have a list of every school in Brookhaven and we put book sacks together and deliver to the children.”

Kelly hopes to create an outlet to expand on what’s going on  in the community for the youth.

“We’re trying to do more community awareness programs like a community forum where it’ll be safe haven for the community to come together and swap feedback to see what we can do to boost our youth in Lincoln County,” he said.

“It’s a wholeness thing,” he said. “It deals with youth, violence, bullying in schools, and the drop out rate. We need to know what we can do make Lincoln County a better place live in.”

Kelly believes raising the scholarship money will be a great start toward providing a better future for the youth.

To donate, go to gofundme.com and search Richard Dickey Flowers 54442.

The second annual Hoops N Haven event will be March 11 at Lipsey Middle School at 9 a.m.

For men’s teams, the entry fee will be $125, and women’s will be $75. Winners from each division will be declared Hoops N Haven Champion. The Senior division winner will receive $450, and the women’s division will receive $250. For the Junior division, Kelly is planning on sponsoring a day trip for the kids and their parents.