CONCORD, N.C. – Jamie Allison remembers her hoop dreams vividly.
"From the time I picked up a basketball, I was in love."
Now the former Catawba College women's basketball standout is helping under privileged kids reach for the stars on the basketball courts over at Carolina Courts.
"I wanted every child that wanted to play basketball, that had a heart for it, that would listen and be respectful, to have the opportunity to play," said Allison. The Concord native started a not-for-profit organization with her own money two years ago. It's called "Love the Little Ones" and out of that, came the concept of the Concord Comets AAU Basketball program.
"A lot of the ones that need it the most are the ones that wouldn't have it if we couldn't give it to them," said Allison. The Comets are entering their third full season and feature a little over 40 area players, including teams featuring third, fourth and fifth graders.
The single mother of two is hoping two add more teams, as well as sponsors. Allison preaches discipline, but also takes extreme pride in seeing her players grow, both on and off the court. "When I see the light in their eyes and we encourage them, and tell them great job when they learn something or do something we taught them to do, it just brings me so much joy."