HomeUncategorizedNorthside Church helps North Side Indians with a practice venue

Northside Church helps North Side Indians with a practice venue

Glenn Miller is the youth director at Northside Church on Highland Avenue just north of Interstate 40.

The church is about a mile south of North Side High School, and when Miller heard about the situation involving the Indians’ basketball gym, he and fellow pastor Gary Campbell reached out to the school to let them know they wanted to help.

“We have a gym here in our church that is good enough to practice in,” Miller said. “We knew we didn’t have the space to host games, but if the team wanted to practice without having to go far away from their campus, they were more than welcome to come here.”

North Side didn’t get to play at home any after the Christmas break because the heavy rains on Jan. 3, the day before Jackson-Madison County Schools resumed classes, made their way through the roof over the gym and to the floor, heavily damaging the court and making it unplayable until it’s fixed.

JMCSS officials opted to not get the floor fixed until the roof is fixed and leaks are stopped, which is scheduled to happen later this year.

When Miller and North Side boys’ coach Aaron Woods sat down and discussed the issue, they figured out they actually knew each other.

“A few years back when we both lived in the same neighborhood, my wife and I would go for walks, and we’d see this family with young kids outside playing basketball,” Miller said. “We’d say hey to them and talk every now and then, and when Coach and I were talking in January, we were both like, ‘Don’t I know you?’

“And then we figured out where we knew each other from.”

When Woods brought the team to the church, Miller recognized North Side’s point guard: Woods’ son, Lincoln.

“That little kid that was playing basketball in the driveway with his dad isn’t so little anymore,” Miller said. “And it makes me feel a little old now.”

The Indians came to Northside usually on Tuesdays and one or two other days of the week for longer practices depending on their game schedule that week.

Miller and other church leaders were asked to speak to teams before practices or games.

“I’m a character coach with our local Fellowship of Christian Athletes, so that was something I was already doing,” Miller said.

Miller said one of the messages he gave the players for both the boys’ and girls’ teams was their importance to the community in North Jackson.

“Jackson is kind of a big place, but North Side High School sports teams are important to the community around the school,” Miller said. “When younger kids around here see them out somewhere, they look at them the way people look at Steph Curry.

“So if they don’t feel like they matter, they should because they do.”

Woods took to social media this past week to thank Miller and Northside for their help over the last couple of months.

“You went over and beyond to make sure our young men had a place to prepare,” Woods said on his personal Facebook page. “Your words of wisdom will not only stick with them, but also myself for a lifetime.

“We consider you and your church family a part of our Tribe!”

Miller said he hopes the experience has started a relationship between the church and the basketball programs.

“We as a church want to be here for North Side to meet any needs we can,” Miller said. “So I hope a year from now we have this discussion and we’re talking about the relationship that’s been built between them and us because we want to help when we can.

“So I hope they do. And Coach Woods and [North Side girls’ coach Ken Northcut] have talked about that already.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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