"Just A Matter Of Doing It" - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/19/06-Tyler

"Just A Matter Of Doing It"

Some time the best medicine for those awkward teenage years, is just knowing that someone is there who cares. Especially when that person is putting aside their own battles, for the sake of a team.

For the past two weeks team AAU Team JAMODI has played with a new inspiration.

"We decided that if we mean that much to him, then we should go a little bit out of our way to help him out," said team member Harrison Hart.

The players are devoting their wins to a man who has devoted countless hours to them. All while battling illness. Coach Mickey Smith is being treated for a pituitary tumor.

"It's inoperable," Mickey explained. "But this little knot I've got is nothing compared to what some people are dealing with. "

Though they had practiced with him for weeks, most of the team learned of Mickey's illness earlier this month. Now the coach that has battled for them, is now the fight in their on the court battles.

"He's done so much," said Todd Stonger. "He's gone to everybody's city and got us sponsors, getting all this money together is just a amazing."

"It let's us know that our problems aren't as big as we make them out to be," Harrison said. "Little stuff like mom and dad making you wake up early just to take out the trash."

Mickey has passed on another message reflected in their team name. As he explained, it was born out of an old phrase he had worn out in practice.

"Just A Matter Of Doing It," Harrison explained each letter in JAMODI. 

What they have done is picked up national attention and a spot in the Reebok Big Time Tournament in Las Vegas;  the granddaddy of summer league championships.

JAMODI will compete with 375 from across the world. The team hopes to show off more than their hoop skills, but show the lessons Mickey has taught them.

"Put God first," Mickey said, "family second, and family being that family at home and this family of JAMODI. Then thirdly, respecting the game of basketball."

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