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Former Jaguar gives back through basketball

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Former Farmville Central basketball player Tyreek Dupree (left) talks with current player Terquavion Smith.

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By Laieke Abebe
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A former Farmville Central state champion is key to success of Pitt County basketball this past season

All Tyreek Dupree wanted to do was give back, and he certainly did.

Dupree graduated from Farmville Central in 2016, and was a member of the Jaguars squad that went 28-0 and won the 2-A state championship that year. After high school, he committed to play basketball at Lees-McRae, but his playing career came to an abrupt end due to a heart condition.

Now that his playing days are behind him, he’s giving back to the area where it all started. He has done so by organizing pick up basketball games for people of all ages.

He held a Community Day at Bennett Park in Farmville May 26 that had an excellent turnout. Current and former basketball players, friends, and family gathered to play the game they love.

Local areas were represented, such as Greenville, Farmville, Greene County, and Kinston. It was a way of bringing people together for a good cause and a good time.

“Honestly, I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out,” Dupree said about the event. “Having over 300 people pack the park out for an event like that was surreal. At one point, I found myself in my own little world just examining everything that was going on and I was really just in shock.”

This past season, Dupree served as an assistant on the Pitt Community College men’s basketball team under head coach Darrick Mullins. Next season, he’ll be heading to Elizabeth City State to be an assistant coach under Shawn Walker.

“It was a family oriented culture,” he said about his time at PCC. “The relationships I had with my players were amazing from the pregame talks to the funny bus rides, and just being able to coach such a great group of guys. Coach Mullins has my upmost respect for bringing me on his staff, and I wouldn’t trade those group of guys for anything.”

While Dupree moved up in the coaching ranks, he continues to help some of Pitt County’s best basketball players improve their games. The results have certainly shown in the hard work his athletes put in on and off the court.

Dupree trained students from J.H. Rose, D.H. Conley, South Central, and Farmville Central over this past season. This summer, kids of all ages will be seeking his training and advice.

With the Falcons and Jaguars both winning state championships in 2019, the kids trained by Dupree feel that he’s made a big impact on them on and off court. With this event, he brought together the entire area for something that was more than just basketball.

“Everyone in the park had a smile on their face,” Dupree added. “They were enjoying the games, the music and each other’s company. It was so heart warming to see surrounding areas come together for something positive. I couldn’t have asked for a better event honestly.”

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