OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Since his death in May, the name James Scurlock has meant many different things for different people. It has sometimes brought anger, sometimes sadness and sometimes discord.
But now, Scurlock’s family is hoping his name will carry a different message - one of joy, hope and community. To honor their brother, Scurlock’s sisters have started the James Scurlock Sports Academy with hopes of giving young athletes more opportunities.
On Saturday, the volleyball community came together to support that goal.
“The volleyball community in Omaha is amazing," said Chandalea Jones, Scurlock's sister and a coach with the academy. "They’re super supportive if anything is going on. They’ve always reached out. They’ve always been there for us."
The Jump for Ju volleyball tournament brought in over $1,200. A small portion of the proceeds went toward helping Scurlock’s family pay for a headstone.
The rest went toward helping athletes that James, who designated himself Coach Juju, had supported from the sidelines.
“We’ve been with Coach Chandy for a long time," said Rylee Nuclus. "And Juju was like a big brother to the team.”
Scurlock’s sisters say, though their brother wasn’t an expert player, he always brought positive energy to practices.
“He was our assistant coach, he was our shagger, he was our target practice. He was our water boy," Jones said. "He was whatever we needed him to be.”
Though he is no longer here to cheer the team on, Scurlock’s loved ones hope through the sports academy, they can continue that support.
“Not every kid has the ability to pay to play sports," Jones said. "For some kids, $500 is a lot of money. So our whole thing behind it is, we can find the cheapest rate for the girls and boys in order for them to play.”
The academy is currently looking for coaches for anyone interested, and they will have another fundraiser on Nov. 14. Volley and Sip will take place that night from 7pm-11pm at LeVentre.