Basketball pro makes a difference

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Omar Collington

Over and Beyond’s vision is to use basketball as a platform to teach life lessons.

Local basketball alum Omar Collington has taken his talents to new heights as he strives to make a difference in the Decatur community. He created an athletic mentoring and training program called Over and Beyond Basketball LLC.

Collington played basketball at Decatur and the team advanced all the way to the state championship game. He gained the attention of college recruiters and soon received a full scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Asheville. After playing there for four years, he continued playing the game overseas in places including Germany, Spain and France.

Although he traveled around the world, Collington didn’t forget about his roots here in Decatur.

“I have had the opportunity to come back and share my experiences with the Decatur community,” Collington said.

What he brought back was more than just memories but an organization to help student athletes. He founded Over and Beyond on Nov. 19, 2011 and works with kids from ages three to 18 in an effort to maximize their talents while pushing them to do their best off the court.

Using three different local gyms in Decatur, Collington holds mini camps for children ages three to eight which teach basketball fundamentals. He also holds clinics for ages nine to 18 to push the athletes to better their skills and create a name for themselves.

Senior Jordan Dillard, a varsity basketball starter, has gained more than just physical improvement from working with Collington.

“[Collington] has helped me understand that your mental approach to the game is just as important has your physical approach,” Dillard said.

In June, Collington will return to play in Germany, but he will never forget how he has impacted his community and how his community has impacted him.

“Reaching out to the Decatur community and bringing a positive light and outlook on what it means to be a student athlete, as well as model citizens in the community, has been a worthwhile experience,” Collington said.

He has had a positive experience with many of the students at the high school and at Renfroe Middle School.
“I hope Omar has success overseas, but he will be missed by the community of Decatur,” said sophomore Korey Silas, one of Collington’s trainees.

For more information on Collington’s group, visit Over and Beyond’s website.