Ackles Motivates Basketball Team to Give Back

The team participates in their yearly tradition of volunteering at a local food pantry


As coach Gregory Ackles leads the Boys’ basketball team into the 2022-23 season, he wanted to show the team that they can do things besides basketball to help the community.

“I think he wanted to get all us together and do an event to help people,” junior Jaevin Alston said.

That’s when Ackles found the food pantry in Wake Forest. This volunteer tradition has continued with the team going once last year and twice this year, each time staying around an hour to hour and a half.

Ackles believes that the team needs to do more.

“He wanted us to be examples to like people of the younger generation who want to do it when they get older,“ junior Franklin Baret said.

For the most part, Ackles seems to agree.

“I think they get caught up in just basketball, so they don’t understand a lot of times even kids, like younger kids, or even adults are looking at them and want to see them do other things,” Ackles said.

— Gregory Ackles

For the boys, they find the volunteer work enjoyable.

“Some kids went the first time, and they wanted to go the second time because they knew they would go out there and have a little fun, talk a little bit, and laugh,” Ackles said.

With the volunteer work going well, the boys want to find other ways to volunteer

“Other ways I want to serve with the team are picking up trash like on the side road and also going to a food kitchen and serve to the homeless,” Baret said.

A lot of the boys have gotten curious about the volunteer work they do.

“One of the guys asked about who gets the food, and who it goes to. I try to explain to them, like there are some people who need to come to this food bank that need food a couple times a month,” Ackles said. “I told them whether y’all realize or not, y’all are helping other people, even with just bagging potatoes.”

Through the food pantry, Ackles has shown a new perspective to the team on those less fortunate.

“I’m grateful for all the blessings I’ve had, and there’s people that aren’t as blessed as me,” Baret said. “I’m just glad to go help my community and give back to people.”