Dallas church and Conrad Chargers are a perfect match

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by TED MADDEN

WFAA

Posted on January 15, 2013 at 8:20 PM

DALLAS — There are a lot of things the Conrad High School basketball team doesn't have.

The Dallas ISD school doesn't have a lot of wins (the team is 8-14); it doesn't have a booster club; and its players don't all have the luxury of focusing their attention solely on school and sports.

"Some of them are working actually to help pay bills at home with their parents," said Chargers head coach Kenny Jones. "They literally have to work to pay the bills and the rent."

What they do have is a coach who came from a one-parent family and can relate to his players.

And they also have a neighborhood church that has unofficially adopted Conrad High School.

"If you ever left the neighborhood, would they miss you?" That's the question Fellowship Dallas Bible Church ministry director Bob Breunig asks himself when considering what a church's impact should be in a community.

"Community impact is something we would like to [have] — and community transformation — to be able to have some sort of input and serve the neighborhoods," he said.

Breunig is a former Dallas Cowboys linebacker who was part of the "Dirty Dozen" draft class of 1975. He is now heavily involved with Fellowship Dallas church, which counts Conrad's head coach Kenny Jones among its members.

The church recently had an impromptu fundraiser to buy the basketball team new travel warm-ups.

"They were pretty nice," said forward Godwia Assiogbon, who moved here from Africa in 2006.

Conrad High School is home to refugees from 17 different countries. "I just thank God that they came into our lives and did that for us," Assiogbon said.

On game nights, the gym isn't much more full than it is for a regular practice. Most players go home, and many don't have a dad they can talk to about the game.

"Just speaking from my personal experiences of not having a father figure at home, and to have a total stranger that cares, that means a lot," said senior guard Isaiah Johnson.

"Nobody's ever come in at night and said, 'Hey son, I love you,' or come in at night and say, 'Hey son, you're doing a good job,'" Breunig said. "If the Christian church can come alongside and play that role in some of these kids' lives, it's just great."

What the Conrad Chargers basketball team does have is each other, their coach, and the support of the community church.

E-mail tmadden@wfaa.com

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