AUGUSTA, GA. (WJBF)- The three-week JVBL Summer League program was organized by Westside High School alumni like Ethan Taylor who is now the assistant basketball coach.
“The foundation of education is to just be thinking men, not just only in basketball, but in life. So, there’s a lot of life-lessons that we, as coaches, can provide through the game of sport and basketball,” Taylor said.
The event began at 9 a.m. and consisted of a life skills clinic for the student-athletes to understand more about who they can become, even off the court.
“Today we were just trying to give back to the youth, show them the importance of brotherhood and connectedness. Also, to get them thinking forward.”
Former NBA basketball player and Westside Assistant Principal, Eric L. Taylor, father to Ethan, came as a guest speaker for the teens.
“You have given back what you have learned. Your experiences, your knowledge and people remember that,” Taylor said.
But, the inspiration for the summer initiative was not only based on their ties to the school.
“To present a program that is going to be something that we can look toward the future in the aspect of educating our children, sending them to college and then having them come back,” Eric Taylor said.
The father and son duo plan to continue instilling in these young men how sports and education can impact their lives.
“To be able to learn these lessons of the game– it’s just a game, it’s just high school basketball– but to be able to learn these lessons about the game and then apply it to life. That’s most important,” Ethan Taylor said.
“I want us to have a community that cares, that loves each other,” Eric Taylor said.