LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The Simmons College of Kentucky basketball team has made their debut on NBA TV. The national spotlight shining on lessons they are being taught on and off the court.
"Coach wants us to go to class, get our degrees, focus on basketball second,” said sophomore James Mosley.
"He always says we're a student first," said Jarvis Irby, a sophomore.
Their head coach is former UofL player, NBA player and longtime college coach Jerry Eaves.
"For the world to see what we are trying to do here and why we are trying to do it is unbelievable," said Jerry Eaves, Athletic Director and Head Basketball Coach at Simmons College of Kentucky.
Eaves was brought on by Simmons College of Kentucky President, Reverend Kevin Cosby, to start this program two years ago to continue the growth at the historic college.
Cosby says Simmons is one of the oldest historically black colleges in the United States and has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a member of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).
"Simmons is one of the oldest historical black colleges in America," said Reverend Kevin Cosby
As they work to build up the basketball program, much of the focus is on helping players build character and develop career skills.
"While they probably won’t become an NBA player, they can through hard work and discipline earn their MBA. So I wanted to use basketball as the bait to lure them into a new environment, a new culture to expose them college life and to higher education," said Cosby.
"That's what athletics does. It puts you in a situation to where you are not going to be successful. You have to be able to handle failure. You have to be able to get up the next day and continue to try to achieve and reach great heights," said Eaves.
While they may be introduced to the country with this documentary, Cosby and Eaves are hoping this exposure will increase local community support for their program. The team is holding a watch party fundraiser tonight, March 8, at Diorio's on Baxter Avenue.
The "Beyond the Paint: Simmons College of Kentucky" will air on NBA TV again:
March 8th - 2:00 p.m.
March 9th - 8:30 p.m.
March 12th - 4:30 a.m.
March 13th - 11:30 a.m.
March 14th - 12 :00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
March 15th - 4:00 p.m.
March 17th - 4:00 p.m.
March 18th - 8:30 p.m.