Isaiah Carson and Nate Miller were teammates on some of the great basketball teams in the final years of South High School. Now they are teaming up again to help the kids trying to follow in their footsteps.
Carson, the head boys basketball coach at Springfield High School, and Miller, a professional baskeball player in Israel for six seasons, will host an event they’re calling “Positivity in the City” on Saturday at Springfield High School. It’s a response to the gun violence that has plagued Springfield.
“We want to take our city back and give the kids a nice positive day,” Carson said. “We don’t want to highlight (the violence) That’s been highlighted for the past couple years now. We want to talk about the positive things in Springfield. We want to honor our youth. We have great talent coming up. We want to honor our alumni because we’re proud of them. There’s a lot of great alumni doing great things.”
Carson was the News-Sun All-Area Player of the Year as a senior in 2004. Miller won the same award as a senior a year later. Another of their teammates, the former College of Wooster star James Cooper, will also participate in the event.
“This is my community,” Carson said. “I chose to come back here. I could have went anywhere. I got a degree. My wife has a doctorate. She’s a pharmacist. We wanted to come here and make a difference in the community. This is a good start. Basketball wise, we’re doing well now. When I got back, we weren’t doing so well. We had to build it back.”
The event will include resource booths promoting summer youth opportunities and activities, food vendors (including Cane’s Chicken), a bouncy house for kids and live entertainment. Carson’s staff at Springfield and Jim Scoby also helped organize the event.
Here’s the schedule of events:
• 9 a.m.: Peace Rally, Springfield High School parking lot.
• 10 a.m.: Middle school championship basketball game on portable court at Springfield High School parking lot.
• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: High school boys basketball shootout in front and back gyms at SHS. Participating teams: Springfield, Dunbar, Xenia, Butler, Meadowdale, Urbana, Anna and Northwestern. Varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams will play.
• 11 a.m: Elementary championship basketball game on portable court at Springfield High School parking lot.
• 11 a.m.: Springfield baseball all-time greats wiffleball game on the SHS basebal field.
• Noon: Best-of-the-best 3-point contest featuring Danny Davis, Michael McKay, James Cooper, Anthony Freeman and Nate Miller.
• 12:30 p.m.: Alumni dunk contest featuring DaeShawn Jackson, Kamarta Curry and Derick Yarbrough.
• 2 p.m.: Springfield greats flag football game, SHS football field.