At Durham Middle School in Lewisville ISD, basketball coach Tedric Milton works to teach his players about more than just life on the court. That’s why he surprised the guys in his first season by asking them to dress up on game days, wearing khakis and a nice shirt instead of the sweats or shorts most usually choose.
“This is not only a middle school thing. This is basically setting the foundation for you in the long run,” said Tedric Milton.
But when it didn’t immediately catch on, Milton realized some of his players didn’t own the professional dress he was asking for and some didn’t have the means to run out and by it. So he turned to his fellow school staff.
“He wanted them to dress for success, be professionals, be a positive mentor to their peers,” said School Resource Officer JD Guy.
Officer Guy, who’s only been at the school since October, says helping kids like those on the basketball team are what drew him to his job in the first place.
“When you’ve got stories like that that pull on your heartstrings involving children you try to do everything possible to try to make that happen for them,” said Guy.
It took a few calls, but eventually he ended up in touch with Meridith Hall, the new community kids director at Valley Creek Church’s Next Step Center.
It turns out, they had a budget in place for moments just like this one.
“I think it’s so important for these kids to realize how many people there are who care about them that are invested in them succeeding,” said Meridith Hall.
It took them just a day to buy 24 pairs of khakis for Coach Milton’s team.
“It just made me feel overwhelmed with joy knowing that someone’s out there making a difference for our young generation,” said Milton.
Now each game day, his players are outfitted in clothes they say show everyone they’re all about business.
“It really hypes us up, because we always get these compliments from our classmates and teachers. It gives us some confidence going into the game,” said Dawson Byrd.
It’s the lesson their coach hoped they would take away, though he didn’t initially know they’d also learn there’s a whole community out there rooting for them to succeed both on and off the court.