LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Students at Minor Daniels Academy put it all on the court Friday night during the school’s 3rd yearly basketball tournament.

The boys aren’t only shooting baskets, but also towards a brighter future.

“When I first came in I just looked at everything negative but they, the teachers and the staff taught me how to look at every negative situation in a positive,” said Nathan Romero, 17.

Romero has attended the JCPS alternative school for 12 weeks and told WHAS11 News he’s proud of his new outlook on life.

“It's really helping me become a better man and a better player on and off the court.”

He gets to return to his home school, Fern Creek High, after winter break because of good behavior. Others who played in Friday’s basketball tournament are going back to their comprehensive schools, as well.

“It's going to feel good, I can't wait to be honest,” Romero explained. “I've been here for a long time and I've learned a whole lot about to act in regular school, and stuff like that.”

During the game, teams circled up for a moment to appreciate each other.

“We're able to look each other in the eye, in their faces and say, I care what you say, you matter,” said Dr. Angel Jackson, a District Behavior Support System Resource Teacher.

It seems to be keeping students like Romero focused.

“I'm always playing basketball so I don't really have time to get caught up into the streets and things like that. I've lost a lot of people to the gang violence and stuff like that so it's kind of pushing me to stay away from it.”

Staff told WHAS 11 News the basketball tournament is the school’s way of showing they support the students.