LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Wes Hinton, a former teacher and high school basketball coach with Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), is hoping to make a slam dunk impact on students' lives.

What You Need To Know

  • The D.E.L.T.A. Foundation aims to help at-risk youth succeed academically, socially and athletically

  • Its after-school programs provide tutoring and basketball training to elementary and middle school students

  • Students have access to certified teachers and technology to complete schoolwork

  • The founder of the program coached and taught at JCPS schools for 10 years 

Hinton is the founder and CEO of the D.E.L.T.A (Developing Educated Leaders Through Athletics) Foundation Inc., a mentorship program that helps at-risk youth succeed academically, socially and academically. 

After ten years of coaching and teaching at JCPS schools, Wes Hinton combined the two to help students improve academically and athletically. (Spectrum News 1/Ashley N. Brown)

The D.E.L.T.A Foundation opened a gymnasium equipped with a full basketball court, three classrooms and computers in 2019.  

Unlike on the court, Hinton doesn’t need a whistle when he’s coaching in the classroom. 

He took a timeout from the sideline to create an after-school program to keep students from falling through the cracks.

He is using lessons in the classroom and on the basketball court as a way to hook students in to improve their grades and attendance.

“When sports was taken away from them for whatever reason they stopped going to school, they ended up incarcerated or even worse,” said Hinton. 

Hinton teamed up with certified teachers to provide homework assistance and tutoring to middle school students in the Hoops and Homework program and individual reading and literacy tutoring for elementary students in the Books and Basketball program.

The program is helping 13-year-old Kayden Kimberland keep his head in the game.

“There’s just something about math that I really like,” said Kimberland. 

During virtual school, it was hard to keep up with work even in his favorite subject.

“You just put it off like you say you’ll do it tomorrow because you have a bunch of time because you're at home,” said Kimberland.

Once their schoolwork is completed students head to the court for basketball training and conclude the day with full court play. (Ashley N. Brown/Spectrum News 1)

Kimberland described bouncing back to the traditional classroom setting as weird and being faced with strict deadlines again has been a challenge, but the program is helping him improve grades.

“It is gonna help them tremendously. It definitely will, especially if your teacher says, 'Oh, get it done by today,' you already have it done,” said Kimberland. 

With a former coach heading the program, the gym isn’t too far away. 

“We use sports as a tool to get these kids in our facility, improve their grades their attendance their behavior, teach them leadership financial literacy, a lot of different things," Hinton said.

It’s all work and then play.  

After tutoring sessions, Hoops and Homework students head to the court for basketball training and games. 

Books and Basketball students get one on one basketball training. 

“I wanted to find a way to take the youth that I’m surrounded by love for sports, bring it in and keep them off the streets and give them a safe place to play while improving their grades and while finding a way to get them out of high school,” said Hinton. 

The access to technology to complete schoolwork and basketball training is helping the future real estate agent in multiple ways. 

“It’s perfect for something to do like lose weight and do this so instead of just sitting around. It's great,” said Kimberland. 

His coaches and tutors have become so much more. 

“I consider them as role models. They care about you so much. They want to shoot to the top, not just in the basketball,” says Kimberland. 

There are a few spots available in the Hoops and Homework program.

More information about the program and signs up is available here.