Community activist building basketball court to steer kids away from crime

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A Berkeley County community activist is building a basketball court in Cordesville to try to steer kids away from a life of crime.

Willie Powell says he wants to use his love of basketball to give back to the community.

Powell launched the project after a youngster approached him.

"[Someone said] 'You've been building basketball courts but you didn't try to do nothing for us,'" Powell said."So I said I'll try to come out and see if I can help you."

So far, Powell has been able to raise enough money to put a half court and basketball goal on Cane Gully Road.

The court is on land donated by his relative Theodore Reid.

"It's beautiful and I love it," Reid said."As long as I'm doing something for the community that's all it takes."

The court is painted blue and yellow to honor Powell's high school alma mater Berkeley High School.

Powell says he needs $7,000 to finish the project.

Former South Carolina congressman Henry Brown, a Cordesville native, donated money for the basketball court.

"I think this is a plausible project that gives these young men and women an opportunity to do something other than roam the streets," Brown said.

Powell says the basketball court is part of his dream to make a difference.

"You might can't change a generation that is in the mix of doing bad now. But if you stick around for a few years, the next generation will change their attitude because you give them something good," Powell said.

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