As reported in the Opelousas Daily World by Jordan Arceneaux on April 27, 2016
Earlier this month, the Hope for Opelousas basketball team captured its third straight Athletes for Christ League championship.
The HFO team defeated the Christ Church Kings in the final game of an undefeated season. The team, coached by HFO directors Emanuel and Nasia woods, dedicated the victory to fallen classmate Jaylin "Pop" Levier.
Levier, who was 15 at the time, died of an accidental gunshot wound to the head in August 2013. Authorities said Levier was examining an unlocked gun that later discharged.
“My goal when starting this team was to create a culture of success for our boys," Emmanuel Woods said. "It has been a pleasure coaching these boys and watching them grow into mature young men. It is amazing to see their confidence move from this league to their high school basketball program. As we continue to be champions not only on the court, but champions in school, champions in the community and champions in life.”
One of the HFO players Kevin Thomas reiterated that the game was dedicated to their friend.
“Pop would have been on this team and he would have been a leader," Thomas said. "He is always with us. We dedicated this victory to him.”
“I am honored to see our kids allow Jaylin’s legacy to cause them to strive for success," said Loren Carriere, HFO executive director. "God is continuing to use Jaylin in all of our lives.”
The Hope for Opelousas Mission
HFO is actively empowering a movement of hope — focused on community development through educational support, neighborhood outreach, and intentional relationships—grounded in the truth that love changes everything.