By Dillon Jones, Sports Writer

Spartanburg, SC- The Upward Stars Center has been thriving since the fall of 2014. Their purpose is to promote the discovery of Jesus through sports.

Coach Curtis Wheeler is the program director of the Upward Stars Southeast Adidas Gauntlet team. The program has a 15-, 16- and 17-age group team.

“We are the only team in the state with this type of recognition,” Wheeler said. “Since we have this type of power, why not promote it the right way with Jesus? No other program is doing this.”

Coach Ryan Norris, Keenan’s basketball assistant coach, is the 16 and under head coach. He has been with the program for three years now.

“It’s a great environment and energy to be around,” Norris said. “I enjoy being with Upward and look…forward to what the future holds for the program.”

Coach Christian Savage, Ridge View High School basketball assistant coach, is over the Upward Stars Columbia team. This is his second year with the program.

“When I first heard about Upward, I wasn’t quite sure about what it was since it was from the Upstate,” Savage said. “Once I learned more about it, I was ready to hop on board. It seemed like a great organization, and has been since I came here.”

Before practices, games, and eating, the organization prays. Also, they hold character lessons, ensuring that the kids understand the purpose of Upward Stars.