Students coach, share skills

Under the supervision of head coach Allen Taylor, members of the boys basketball team volunteer many hours to the Little Millionaires program.

Little Millionaires is an organization started by Coach Taylor and girls’ basketball coach Derek Slaughter in 2007 geared to give back to the community, especially to the young children who will soon be students at the high school.

Each high school player is assigned to a squad of boys aged third through sixth grades whom they coach for the duration of the six week program.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are dedicated to practicing skills and each team plays a 32-minute game every Saturday.

When asked what their favorite part of the program is, most kids immediately say, “The games!”

“It is especially fun when you win,” said Chris, grade five.

The elementary kids love the games, but the high school players are really competitive with each other, too.

“It’s a big deal when your team wins,” said Troy Hennigan, sophomore.

Tyler, grade five, and Sean, grade six, both like the tournament held at the end of the program.

“No game actually counts until the tournament,” said Sean. “(In the tournament) you’re playing to win the whole thing.” Sean has been participating in the program since he was in second grade.

Not only do the high schoolers teach the Little Millionaires the tricks of the game, but also life lessons about working together, listening, perseverance and finding time for exercise and fun.

Although the program was developed for the elementary students, there are benefits for the high school students as well.

“Since the program started, it has really helped with my patience because of how energetic the kids can get,” said Autumn Sweeting, junior. “It takes patience to get them to do the drills so they actually benefit.”

“I love the program and couldn’t ask to be in a better one. The coaching staff is amazing; all of my teammates are like family,” said Nyric Gosley, sophomore.

This program encourages young community members to be active and also helps the boys team become an even stronger Millionaire family.