Originally created 07/27/06

Josey Basketball fundraiser will help 2007 graduates



Nearly 200 people filed into the T.W. Josey High School gym Saturday to watch a slam dunk contest and 3-point shootout followed by a basketball game pitting the Josey All-Stars against the CSRA All-Stars.

The game, where Josey defeated the CSRA team 90-77, was a fundraising event organized by the Josey Class of 1997 to raise scholarship money for the school's class of 2007.

Nicole Thompkins, a 1997 Josey graduate, wanted to have more than a simple 10-year class reunion next year, so when she and fellow classmates start planning the event, she mentioned her idea to assist 2007 graduates.

"I wanted to do something to leave a lasting impression," said Ms. Thompkins, the chairwoman of the Class of 1997 scholarship fundraising committee. "We're trying to do book scholarships of $250 each. We're hoping to give away about six."

The basketball game raised $700, she said. Players on the teams included Deon Grant, a 1997 Josey graduate who plays for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, and William Avery, formerly of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who plays basketball in Europe.

Mr. Grant said seeing all the work that went into putting on the game and knowing that it was for a charitable cause had him enthused about participating.

"Charitable events are something I do around the country every year," he said. "The turnout at the game was great. Nobody playing was looking for money. The kids really enjoyed it, and that's what it was all about - the kids and the scholarship fund."

Ms. Thompkins said there will be other scholarship fundraisers, including one in October during the school's homecoming.

Giving scholarships is not the only way they plan to help the seniors, Ms. Thompkins said.

"We're setting up an SAT workshop in September and in the springtime we're planning on doing a doing college tour of Savannah State University and Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah," she said.

For more information, call (706) 627-6008.

Reach C. Samantha McKevie at (706) 823-3552 or samantha.mckevie@augustachronicle.com.