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Local baseball club teaches significance of giving

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By Graham Sweeney

A local baseball club is working to teach young men the fundamentals of the game while instilling in them a sense of service.

To demonstrate this point, Collierville Dragons Baseball Club President Brad Kornegay recently helped orchestrate a baseball gear collection drive for an inner city baseball program.

Through donations from local families, the club collected more than 1,200 baseball supplies for the Memphis Redbirds’ Reviving Baseball in the Inner City (RBI) program, including 110 bats, 70 helmets and over 100 pairs of cleats.

RBI is an instructional baseball and softball summer program for boys and girls. The children form teams and travel the city to play each other. The aim of the program is to “increase participation and interest in baseball and softball among underserved youth.”

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“We want to be a club that teaches our children beyond baseball,” Kornegay said. “That includes what I call ‘learning to live your lives for others.’”

Kornegay and club participants encouraged residents to dig through their closets, attics and garages to find baseball equipment for less fortunate children.

Collection boxes were set up at Collierville High School and the Desoto Athletic Club. The community responded.

“God teaches us to give,” he said. “A bat will never hit and a glove will never catch unless it’s put in the hands of a child.”

Within the club, Kornegay prefers to use the term “teacher” when referring to coaches.

“These will be our future leaders and if we do our jobs as teachers then their futures, as well as ours, will be bright,” he said.

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The club recently hosted a clinic before Thanksgiving. Admission to the camp was the donation of 12 cans of food for the Collierville Food Pantry.
Hundreds of cans were collected.

“I realized years ago that if we focus on building better Christians, students, sons, brothers, friends…first,” he said, “then we build better athletes. It’s not the other way around. I want all of our teachers to have this same philosophy.”

Kornegay is optimistic that the club’s trend of giving will continue going forward.

“I’m really teaching kids about life and just using sports as the tool through which I accomplish the task,” he said. “Maybe, just maybe, it will help change a child’s life.”

For more information, go to colliervilledragonsbaseball.com.

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