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Local organization helps provide shoes for student athletes in need

Smoove Kicks, Inc continues to encourage student athletes in the area in need to participate in sports by providing shoes or league fees. KRWG's Kienna Rodriguez talks with Brian Harrison with the group to learn more about the work they do.

Kienna Rodriguez: Today I have the privilege of being accompanied by Brian Harrison, the Public relations officer for Smooth kicks. Brian, thank you so much for being here.

Brian Harrison: Thanks for having us, Kienna. We sure appreciate you.

Kienna Rodriguez: What inspired smooth kicks?

Brian Harrison: Well, Smooth Kicks, was created by the parents of Jacob Becerra, who was shot and killed by a friend in 2020, January 6th, 2020. Jacob was a a great kid. He was just a very friendly kid, big heart, and always gave himself to others. I coached him since he was a young kid and Jacob, he always thought about others. So, like if there were people on his team who didn't have a pair of shoes or couldn't afford league fees or things like that, he would talk to his parents or his grandparents and see if they could help that child out. Sometimes he’d even take the shoes off of his feet and give them to another kid and then go get himself another pair of shoes. So, with his parents, his brother started this organization to keep his memory alive, keep his legacy alive. Our goal is to affect youth athletes of our community by providing them shoes; if they if they can't afford to play sports by providing league fees.

Kienna Rodriguez: How did Jacob's death affect you personally?

Brian Harrison: It was really tough. I knew Jacob since he was a kindergartener. He started school with my youngest son Manson. Ever since he was a baby he grew up with my son, I coached him since he was a young age and he coached him all the way up through his freshman year high school and football at Mayfield High School and so I was real close with he and the family. It affected me greatly the night that I found out I was actually on a zoom football and I got the call on it and it was just, it was devastating and it was devastating to all who knew him, because we were all a tight knit group.

Kienna Rodriguez: What is your favorite moment while being a part of this organization?

Brian Harrison: My favorite thing is whenever we hand a pair of shoes to a kid who needs them.

Kienna Rodriguez: So you said that you guys have been doing events for the past few years. What kind?

Brian Harrison: Well, typically we've been doing fundraising through either raffles or benefit runs through bike runs. So this year we're doing an event called “Cruising for kicks” and instead of limiting that to just motorcycles, we've opened it up to all vehicles and this year, in honor of it would have been Jacob's 21st birthday. So you know, we ask that if anybody you know, wants to donate to us, wants to be a part of our organization. Yes, we will welcome anybody to come help us.

Kienna Rodriguez: How can kids apply for assistance from smooth kicks?

Brian Harrison: Typically what we've we've tried to do is go through the leagues and make them aware of who we are, what we have available, and we'll ask that the coaches identify those kids on their teams who may be in need and that for the coach to come to us and we'll sit down with the coach and find. So we we don't typically just want kids coming to us, we'd rather they be identified by their school, by their coach, by their organization, something along those lines.

Kienna Rodriguez: Brian Harrison is a public relations officer for Smoove Kicks Brian, thank you so much for being here today.

Brian Harrison: Thank you so much, Kienna.

Kienna Rodriguez is a KRWG Public Media student employee. She has produced interviews that covered fair wages, poverty, higher education, and literacy.