(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Role models in the St. Joseph community were inducted into the Black Archives Hall of Fame Thursday night.
Craig Curtis, Gary Wilkinson, Jr., and LaDawndra Robbs were among the 2019 inductees.
Curtis and Wilkinson are the co-founders of the St. Joseph HOYAS. The mid-city youth basketball team has a goal of winning both on and off the court.
"It's helping our kids achieve success. The HOYA basketball organization helps kids do better in life and build personality and character," Curtis said.
Wilkinson and Curtis said they saw a need for more good adult role models for the midtown community.
"If they need us for something sometimes they can't go to parents, they can go to us," Wilkinson said. "The same kids that played in the organization when they were little are coming back and coaching and being mentors for the other kids."
Jimmy Jackson is one of those who've gone full cycle -- from player to mentor.
"Basketball saved my life," Jackson said. "I see a lot of kids today that went through a lot of the same struggles as me. Single parent mom, no father."
And while the HOYAS are being inducted into the Black Archives Hall of Fame, they said their team is for everyone.
"It does help others know that there's something better no matter what color you are, who you are, or where you're from. We're here to serve everyone in the community," Curtis said.
LaDawndra Robbs was also inducted into the Black Archives Hall of Fame. Robbs has been board president of the Bartlett Center and is also an exhibit volunteer and researcher for the Black Archives.