There a few players that are getting the opportunity to rebuild their lives and mindsets while being a part of a team in the very last place where you would think that can happen.
They're making the most of their chances while serving time at the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice.
SCDJJ does have a stigma attached to it. Once inside you're forgotten about and often judged from the outside. Behind the barb wire fences and locked gates there is a basketball program that is trying to change perceptions.
DJJ is currently holding about 100 juveniles. These kids have committed crimes that range from grand larceny to attempted murder. The Birchwood Bulldogs basketball team is helping juveniles turn their lives around.
16 year-old forward Tony W once attended Keenan High School. He lost his mother in 2013 to a heart attack and he has made a second family since being a part of the team while serving time.
"It's like a brotherhood. Being a part of something that's positive that you know that's destined for you that's going to keep you out of trouble or something. I wake up every morning and just be prepared to come and play basketball," Tony said.
He plays to honor his late mother.
"When I was coming up she put a lot of money in for me to play ball like in camps, basketball camps and basketball teams and stuff like that. She put in a lot of work, hard work. So I kind of do it for my family."
The basketball program at DJJ has been around for six years. It's just like any other team. They have practice and play in a local church league. The team atmosphere in this detention center has been therapeutic for players like 17 year-old Malik C. out of Clinton, South Carolina.
"It's helping me work on my-like, if I'm going through something I just come out here to practice and just take it out on the court and just ball out."
Raymond "Duck" Harrison, a former SC State All-American football player and Richland Northeast grad has been coaching the Bulldogs the last three seasons. When people find out who he coaches these are the reactions he gets.
"'Aw man how do you get those kids to work together you now? Those kids are knuckleheads. How do you get them to work together?' That's the typical response," Harrison said. "It's a challenge but once you work at it and get through to them they come together on their own."
Coach Harrison is a part of this team to see young men grow. His team has grown a lot. They went undefeated in the regular season of their church league which is the best season during Harrison's tenure.
"That's what I do it for. The feeling it gives me to see these guys accomplish goals you know. A lot of them they didn't even have goals for themselves or didn't set goals. But having them come out here and have goals set in front of them and see them reach it. Man it feels great on the inside."
Malik and Tony are learning valuable life lessons and are maturing as the season goes on.
"It's more than just basketball. It shows you real life situations on how to take care of yourself and how to come together as a team and it's not just going to be all about you as that one person," Tony said.
"I can walk away from situations that I used to couldn't walk away from and I can better myself and be a better person, have the opportunity to be a great young man," Malik said.
Malik wants to play football for Clemson and major in mechanical engineering while Tony plans to attend Midlands Technical College upon his release.
In the second part of this story we'll see what a day in the life is like for a DJJ player.