LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — When it comes to basketball, Makisha and Kei Childress have one simple goal.
"We never turn anybody away," said Makisha.
In their years of running Hardwork Dedication - a unique, affordable traveling basketball program - they've been able to do just that. Let every kid play, even if they can't afford to pay.
"The thing that makes special as coaches is the love and care they give to their players and how inclusive they are to everyone who wants to play," said William, one of the players.
"They include all," echoed Brian, another player. "Everyone can be included no matter what."
Including every player no matter what often means Makisha and Kei paying out of their own pockets - for uniforms, registration to tournaments and transportation. That's why when Makisha and Kei received their gift from the Golden Knights Foundation, they knew exactly what to do with it.
"We were looking for a big enough van to take around a lot of the kids that were going to need transportation and for all of the trips out of town to make the trips cost less," said Makisha.
Makisha called around and found RT Motorsports - a nearby used car dealership owned by Robert and Jacqueline Rico. She told them about 13 Days and Knights of Giving and before they knew it, they had a 12-passenger van - and a new sponsor.
"I ended up participating," said Robert. "We are sponsors of the uniforms."
Since December, Makisha and Kei have put the van to good use - taking their players to several tournaments in Arizona, California and as far north as Seattle.
"A lot of miles. I know that," said Kei, with a laugh. "Just being able to give them rides and make sure they get where they need to go on time. It was a different feeling for us to be able to make sure we provided those rides and transportation for them."
For many kids on the team, Makisha and Kei are more than just basketball coaches. They're family - providing structure, discipline, encouragement and love - helping them get where they need to go.
Since 13 Days and Knights of Giving, Makisha and Kei have grown their program from 18 players to 49. Because of that growth, they are looking for more coaches, volunteers and sponsors. If intererested, go to HardworkDedicationBasketball.org or donate via Cash App or Zelle: $hardworkdedicationbb.