As Andre Emmett's family spends another Christmas without the former Texas Tech basketball standout who was slain last year, Emmett's mother is finding ways to give back.
Emmett's mother, Regina Oliver, started a charity, Oliver Family Charities, in her son’s memory and held its first big holiday event Saturday.
Outside Saint Luke “Community” United Methodist Church, a line of cars waited Saturday for Christmas cheer.
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“Each kid will get a coat, a scarf, a hat, gloves, socks and something educational because Andre was big on education, and he loved the kids,” Oliver said.
She said she wanted to find a way to honor her son on a holiday that holds a special meaning for the family.
“His oldest daughter was born on Christmas Day, which was his favorite holiday, so it’s a little tough,” Oliver said.
The charity teamed up with the church’s Angel Tree program to provide gifts for children whose parents have died or are incarcerated.
The father of Norma Guzman’s two nieces, who participated in the program, is incarcerated.
“We’re waiting for him to come out next year, hopefully soon. So it’s something special for them,” Guzman said.
Oliver said she’s not ready to put up a Christmas tree yet, so for now, she said her focus is on helping others.
She said it’s what Emmett would be doing.
“He was a guy with a big heart," Oliver said. "Andre loved to love. He was my gentle giant."
Three people face capital murder charges in connection to Emmett's death.
Emmett played basketball at Carter High School, Texas Tech and for two seasons in the NBA.