(submitted by Dustin Barnes) More than 60 youngsters from the Jonesboro-Hodge community participated in the Only Basketball Elite (O.B.E.) Camp, which took place at the JHHS Boys Gymnasium. O.B.E. is a top-tier basketball development program founded by O’Brian “Coach O” Calahan, a 2003 graduate of Jonesboro-Hodge High School.
Camp participants divided into groups and worked with coaches, who taught fundamental skills necessary in the game of basketball. These coaches, along with Calahan, were Velario Altheimer, Shan Jackson, Gromika Jones Palmer, and Nikita Wilson. Allen Tew, the Head Coach for the J-HHS Boys’ Basketball Team, served as a gracious host and provided assistance throughout the day.
“We worked on moving without the ball, absorbing contact, and other key tips that are valuable in games,” said Zion Gray, a junior at J-HHS and a member of the Boys’ Basketball Team. “Coach O also taught us that everyone looks at your character on and off the court. With our being athletes in a small town, we have to stick together. It’s the real meaning of ‘Iron sharpens iron,” he added.
On Saturday evening, various members of the community attended a gala at the East Hodge Town Hall. While there, attendees had the opportunity to hear more about Calahan’s nonprofit organization, The Forever Young Foundation, Inc., and the work of the organization. The purpose of the nonprofit organization is to assist in developing and educating younger generations to become productive citizens. Calahan presented “Difference Maker” awards to Shan Jackson and Gromika Jones Palmer for their work in the community in the area of youth
While at J-HHS, Calahan played varsity all four years. He earned All State, District MVP, and All District 1st and 2nd Team Honors. He helped his team earn a spot in the Class 2A Top 28 Boys’ Tournament in 2002. Calahan played collegiate basketball and graduated from Tennessee Temple University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management.
“I am so thankful for the support and encouragement I have received from my beloved community,” Calahan said. “I want to give back because this community has given so much to me.”
He is the proud husband of the former Brittany Powell, and they have two adorable, energetic children. The family resides in the Greater Baton Rouge area.
If you would like to learn more about O.B.E., click here: onlybasketballelite.com.
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