As the college basketball world placed its spotlight on the University of Cincinnati Men's Basketball program and the future of its longtime coach Bob Huggins, it's a shame more attention isn't paid to those who've come through the program and done so well. Former Bearcat Alex Meacham is a shining example of the type of players the program has produced.

For every one player who's been in the bad graces of Bearcat fans, media or even the law, you can find a double figure amount who have gone on to be positive role models since leaving the Clifton campus.

One such player is Alex Meacham. Meacham, the son of two former university staff members, (Grace & Bob Meacham) grew up a Bearcat fan and fulfilled his hoop dreams after much hardship during his high school days.

But love of game and dreams of being part of something special drove Meacham to overcome injuries and early academic problems as a youth. While his contributions to the Bearcat program can't be measured by points or other stats, his presence is still being felt around the Tri-State area.

While many former student athletes dream of hoop stardom, Meacham dreamed of shinning light onto youngsters who fall for everything they see in this ESPN world we live in. Today Meacham and others are key factors in the development of around 400 youngsters who are living their slogan "Teaching the Game of Life, through Basketball" from within the Shining Star Sports program founded by former Xavier captain Sherwin Anderson.

Together Anderson and Meacham are in charge of 18 youth basketball teams for both boys and girls. While many confuse the work done by the two as being just AAU Basketball, the Shining Star Sports program is much more than just the game.

Bearcat Insider caught up with the former Bearcat walk-on and talked about his role in the program and the special day that helps the program grow.

BCI: How did you get involved with the Shining Star program?

TM: Sherwin Anderson started the program and I became co-president about four years ago.

BCI: Is Shining Star just an AAU program?

TM: While we do have teams that play AAU ball, the program is so much more. The program uses basketball to help build confidence in youth through personal training, mentoring and community service.

BCI: How many kids are involved in the program?

TM: We have around 400 kids from around the Tri-State area.

BCI: This weekend you have a big event planed, what former players will people see at your Shining Star game?

TM: For the Xavier players I don't really know. Sherwin takes care of that since I don't talk with Xavier players. (With a laugh) Just kidding, Sherwin's in charge of lining up the Xavier players and we work on the former UC players. The person I put in charge of getting the former Bearcats is Terry Nelson. Terry has more of a detail list as who will be there. But former players like Corie Blount, Ruben Patterson and Melvin Levitt are to be there. Were in the process of getting this game sanctioned by the NBA so guys in the league can play in the future games. Nick Williams and John Meeker are going to be there from this year's team.

To help the Shining Star program, come out and see former Xavier and Cincinnati player's battle in a classic crosstown shootout. The event will be held at Roger Bacon High School and starts at 2:00 p.m.

To learn more about Shining Star or the event, visit their website at the following link.


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