John F. Kennedy boys basketball coach Shawn Pompelia just wants his team to think outside the court, per se.
This Thanksgiving, the JFK team served meals at the Trumbull County St. Vincent De Paul Society in Warren.
Earlier this season, JFK and Warren G. Harding's teams played in the Covelli Tipoff Classic at WGH's gymnasium.
Tribune Chronicle / Margaret Thompson
The Warren G. Harding and John F. Kennedy boys basketball teams announced their intentions to donate the proceeds from this year’s Covelli Tipoff Classic at WGH’s gymnasium. WGH is giving its proceeds to the Warren Family Mission, while JFK is giving its share to the Trumbull County St. Vincent De Paul Society. Pictured, from left, are JFK senior Dominic Naples, JFK coach Shawn Pompelia, Warren Family Mission Director of Development Michelle Beauchene, WGH coach Andy Vlajkovich and WGH junior King Garner.
"We're trying to mold these young men into great individuals, rather than just basketball players," Pompelia said. "We're trying to tell them every day that there is more than us being a basketball team. Our outreach to the community is extremely important.
"For us to partner with Harding is great for the Warren Family Mission and St. Vincent De Paul."
Each school gave $1,000 to the charity of their choice. JFK gave to the Trumbull County St. Vincent De Paul Society, while WGH sent $1,000 to the Warren Family Mission.
For WGH coach Andy Vlajkovich, he wanted to show the team's appreciation for the support the Raiders have got throughout the years.
"The entire community of Warren has been very good to Warren Athletics," he said. "I thought it would be a good opportunity to give back to them a little bit. One thing I feel about Warren is that it's gone through it's share of tough times as whole - from the mills closing to high unemployment. It's not the people's fault. It's the times and the economy and whatnot. It's an opportunity for us to give back to a town that has been really good to us."
And, Pompelia said it's important for the players at JFK and WGH to give back to the Warren area.
"I think it's important for our basketball program to give back to the community," he said. "The best way I can teach our young men is to get involved. I think we're blessed as basketball players and I think that goes for Harding as well. Anytime we can do positives in the community and teach our men about giving back at a young age, you hope it carries through with their lives."