MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A group in Mississippi County are using basketball as a way to keep young girls off the street --- in the gym.
Lacy Smith is the head coach for the Rivercrest Divas, a peewee basketball team.
Smith said the Divas is a team that gives girls a place to go after school or on the weekends.
She said many of the girls come from homes where the parents do not care or are preoccupied with other things.
Smith saw this group as more than just a basketball team.
She described it as a way for the girls to form personal relationships with others whenever they need help in life.
"I have several girls, several girls that call and talk to me on a daily basis," Smith said. "Just to say hey coach or I love you coach or thanks coach. Or at 11:30 at night when they need someone to talk to, I'm that person."
The league currently has about 35 girls playing basketball.
Smith said she was stunned to have so many girls want to play during the first year of the program.
She said the group do not plan to stop there.
As the league grows, they hope to add boy's teams and a cheer squad.
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