The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

January 26, 2013

Breaking the cycle: SIXERinc program offers sports, future to area teens

(Continued)

PALESTINE — SPORTS AS A VEHICLE

SIXERinc is based around the group’s traveling basketball team, something Cary knows all about.

Growing up in Palestine, he and his friends used to play on the East Texas 76ers, a select basketball team that would travel around to tournaments in the summer.

Cary has taken that concept and elevated it with SIXERinc.

The basketball team, which includes players from Palestine, Grapeland and Oakwood, travels the state in the summer months, playing in — and winning — tournaments.

But along they way, they’re experiencing things they wouldn’t get to otherwise.

“In my mind, I see it as an opportunity to bridge the gap between when they get out for the summer and when they get back to school (in the fall),” Cary said. “Why not let me take them to see colleges and go on organizational tours?”

On a trip to a tournament in Waco, the team stopped for a tour of Baylor University. In Houston, they played basketball and also toured Deloitte Consulting, LLP, a consulting firm that Cary used to work for.

The program also allows the players help out with community service projects throughout the summer.

They’ve toured Tyler Junior College and the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas and, while it’s taken most of the last three years to implement, Cary said the kids are starting to figure the process out.

“Three years ago our kids really had no idea of what we were trying to accomplish,” Cary said. “But when I get a phone call now about a letter of recommendation for a scholarship, one of the kids calls me to brag about how fun his college visit was and tells me that he gets it or one of the boys asks me to help him open a bank account, I realize then that what we are doing is working.”

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