GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - There's a lot of athletic talent here in South Mississippi, but many believe it goes unnoticed and un-recruited every year.
An organization here on the coast is trying to change that.
That organization has been working with high school athletes for two years now, so they can get better exposure. Exposure that could lead to them getting recruited to play ball in college and one day drafted to the National Basketball Association.
"Right now we're working with basketball, so we're helping any guy or female that plays high school basketball that desires to play college ball. So we're providing some avenues for them to get their recruiting up," Founder of Elite Prep Report Coach Jake Cook said.
The Gulf Coast Combine is a NBA style combine, and those in attendance got a first-hand look at what it takes to get recruited by a college coach.
"We measured their height their weight, their vertical, their max vertical, their wingspan, their reach and all this information is gathered and we send it off to different college coaches," Coach Jake said.
Johnnelius Anderson is a junior from St. Martin High School, who came to experience the combine, because after college he dreams of playing in the NBA.
"It'll help me with exposure because you know the south doesn't get much exposure down here," Anderson said.
Johnnelius' head coach Charlie Pavlus was there too. He says events like this are the starting points in training to get players noticed and later recruited to a college team.
"It's always the biggest thing, being at the right place at the right time. It's the right people seeing you. It only takes one game, most kids play
AAU basketball or play in high school and if they perform when the right people are watching then it definitely effects their future," Pavlus said.
"We have everything in place to help a child get to the next level, and that's all we're trying to do is provide an opportunity and all they have to do is pick it up and run with it," Coach Jake said.
Coach Jake says he has plans on hosting another Gulf Coast Combine the last weekend in June, when college coaches will be present. The location of the event will be announced at a later date.