Hero Next Door: Volunteer basketball coach Kevin Sawyer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Kevin Sawyer is a man of few words, but he loves the game of basketball, which allows him to connect with his players.

"A lot of aspects of basketball translates over to real-life situations and through basketball, I'm able to teach the kids not only the game but the realities of life and how to succeed at life," Sawyer said.

For the last eight years, Sawyer has been a volunteer coach for the Police Athletic League at the Northside PAL in Jacksonville located at 2165 W. 33rd Street. Four days a week, he is at the gym with his players.

"[The players] have problems in school," Sawyer said. "Come from single parent homes."

Kevin grew up on the Eastside of Jacksonville in a low-income area where he was raised by a single parent -- his father.

"It's different and it's hard because you only have one voice most of the time," Sawyer said. "I just try and show them 'look what I've been through and what I've done' and let them know they can do it too."

What drove him to want more in life, he said, was his dad being tough on him as well as remembering his environment and wanting to do better.

He is a graduate of Andrew Jackson High School and received a degree from the University of North Florida. Sawyer is a success businessman who believes in reaching back and helping young boys in the river city who are in need.

Sawyer is making a difference and he's our Hero Next Door.

"It's very rewarding because it lets me know I've made a difference in their lives through coaching," Sawyer says.


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