THE JEFFERSON AWARDS: Our May winner changes lives through basketball

Every month FOX 47 features someone in our community who is making a difference and we honor them with a Jefferson Award. 

Our May winner uses the game of basketball to try to keep young people away from gangs, drugs, and violence. 

This might look like your average basketball practice, but something special is happening here.

The man behind T&K Basketball is the winner of our latest Jefferson Award.

Teddy Collins started the organization in 2013.

It was in memory of his brother, Rodney, who was killed at the age of 10 by a stray bullet from a gang-related shooting.

"To keep the kids of Rochester off the streets, away from gangs, drugs and violence, and put them in a positive environment in our community," Collins said. 

Young people from across Southeast Minnesota between the ages of 14-21 can join the league at no cost. 

"By them getting a chance and coming here and playing basketball and hanging out with more of their peers, they’re able to let out a lot of their energy," said Collins. 

"It’s giving us a place to go and play basketball in the gym and stay out of trouble so it’s always nice to have," said Deonte Moore, one of the basketball players in the league. 

Over the last five years, the program has grown from about 18 players, to now having helped 200 young people find a positive influence. 

The chairman of T&K’s Board of Directors, Mark St. Peter, nominated Teddy for the Jefferson Award. 

St. Peter says Collins lives his life with integrity and passion. 

"Teddy defines a grassroots effort," St. Peter said. "He was a one man show. He went door to door soliciting funds from businesses to help support him in what he was trying to accomplish. And what inspires me about Teddy is that he started T&K Basketball on a shoestring budget and he was financing it by himself with his tax return. Who does that?"

"It’s my passion. It’s my passion to help kids," Collins said. "I was–a long time ago– I was one of these kids."

And that’s what keeps him going.

"If they don’t have an event like this to come together and participate in, a lot of these kids would be out on the street doing whatever," Collins said. "So if I can volunteer and give them my time for a few hours a week, I would do it every day if I could."

T&K Basketball is looking for more volunteers and gym space as the program continues to grow.

You can find more information here.

And if you know someone who’s also making a difference, you can nominate them for a Jefferson Award here

adwpadmin

adwpadmin

Top Stories

FOX 47 FORECAST
Rochester
55°
Mason City
57°
Albert Lea
57°
Decorah
54°
Austin
55°
Winona
54°
Cool sunshine and windy this weekend

Cool sunshine and windy this weekend

The temperature roller coaster has begun the first of many descents today as afternoon temperatures ranged from 20-25 degrees colder

Connect with My FOX 47
Top Stories

Iowa gas stations participating in “Pink at the Pump” fundraiser

ST. ANSGAR, Iowa (FOX 47) – Simply filling up your gas tank this month can help in the fight against

New program in Minnesota to help adult learners return to college

AUSTIN, Minn. (FOX 47) –  Minnesotans who started but did not finish their higher education will soon be able to

New Miss Winona to focus on LGBTQ Youth Homelessness

WINONA, Minn. (FOX 47) –  The newly crowned Miss Winona plans to focus her year on helping the LGBTQ Community.

Organization hopes to put CWD myths to rest

The Bluffland Whitetails Association hosted a forum to discuss the facts and dangers about Chronic Wasting Disease.

Weather experts talk about last months tornado touchdowns

Faribault hosted a tornado awareness forum after it was hit by a tornado in September.

Scroll to top
Skip to content