LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For the first time in the eight years of competition, the Lufkin Dream Center will be featured at KTRE's annual Pineywoods Showdown All-Star Basketball game.
The team will be represented by the Angelina County Girls All-Star team. The team is looking to rebound from a tough loss last year to their Nacogdoches rivals.
Nessteld on 81 acres of pine tree covered land sits the facility that offers a chance for people to overcome their addictions. The facility runs a 12 month faith-based program.
"We help substance abuse, abuse, rage, anything they are dealing with," Director Jeremiah Campbell said. "When Jesus comes in their life they can be changed."
Campbell might just be the perfect person to help. Before being director of the center, he was a resident battling drug and alcohol addiction.
"When selected for the event, i wanted to get a charity that had never been represented," Coach Tony Brown said. "I got a list of those that hadn't and I saw the Dream Center. When I saw they were a Christian organization I said, 'This is what I want to represent. Coming here and seeing what they are playing for will give these girls a little more motivation."
Early on in their visit the girls learned that their preconceived ideas did not match up.
"A lot of times people don't know what we are or what we do. They have assumptions," Campbell said. "Some people have called and asked if we interpret dreams. others have asked if we do sleep studies. As much as I think we get our name out there, I am learning people still don't know we are here."
Some players thought the facility would be a more restricted area.
"At first I was thinking it was like a place where people get together," student Tyeasha Handy said. " When I walked through the first room I saw them playing pool and watching t.v. They were just chilling. It seemed like more of a home than people."
The facility can be home to 28 residents with the divide being down the middle with 14 males and 14 females. Campbell said it doesn't matter how full or empty they are, the cost for a month is around $32,000 to run the property.
"It makes us compete more and want to win for them," Tiffany Simmons said. "We can come together and win for them.
The girls will tip off at 6 p.m. on April 28 against their rivals from Nacogdoches. The game will be played at Central Heights High School. The boy teams will play following the girls. Tickets are $5. Children 4 and under are free. The winning teams will donate the money to their charity.
This is the first of four stories highlighting the 2016 charities. KTRE will continue the series on Monday.