AKRON, Ohio - It's a Friday night at Akron North High School and the boys' basketball team is hosting Akron East.
It seems like a typical high school game, but the Akron North team is coached by Stacie Horton-Carter. Not just a woman, but one who is also eight-months pregnant.
"I love my coach. She's wonderful. Words can't describe what she has done for this team," Caleb Kennedy said,
Coaching isn't new to Carter, who coached her daughters' AAU basketball teams and the Akron Firestone High School girls' basketball team. But the job at Akron North came with some challenges.
"A lot of the challenges we face are emotional challenges. These kids haven't seen much success," Carter said.
For the players, Carter is more than just a coach.
"Her nickname from us is ‘Momma Stacie'. She's like a parent to us. Anything we need, she's got for us," Edward Harris said.
"I feel like she's my mom. My mom passed away a while ago and she would talk to me after practice and at home. She even gave me food a couple of times because she didn't want me to be hungry," Ali Coker said.
Soon, more than just the players will call her 'mom'.
"Never give up on yourself that's what I'll take from her. Because you got to believe in yourself before you believe in anyone else and anything is possible if you give it your all," Kennedy said.
"I want people to be able to look at these young men and see that these young men are going to be good men in society, and be the ones to take us to the next level," Carter said.