Basketball Player Brings Christmas to a Family in Need

Ben Rainwater

BOLIVAR, Tenn. - Christmas comes early for a family in need as former Bolivar basketball standout Willie Kemp gives back to his community.

"I just can't explain it," Christmas surprise recipient Charlene Hudson said. "All of it's just a blessing. It's a blessing, and I just love him for it."

Kemp starred at Bolivar High School before playing major college basketball at the University of Memphis. Now, he's playing professionally in Romania.

"Overseas you have a lot of time on your hands to think, and I was thinking that I wanted to adopt a family for Christmas and just bless a family in my community in Hardeman County," Kemp said.

Community members suggested the Hudson family, Charlene, Markeveon, Mardrekus and Jamarious.

"Charlene, she's the grandmother, her daughter died of cancer last month," Kemp said. "She was only 27-years-old, and she left behind three small children at three, four, and six-years-old, and they really don't know what happened to their mother."

"For one thing, it's more meaningful for me because I lost my mother at a very young age," Hudson said. "I was just four-years-old, so I feel like I'm here for a reason and that's for my grand babies. To make sure they don't have to want for anything. To make sure they've loved like their supposed to be."

Without Kemp's help, the Hudson family said they wouldn't have had much of a Christmas celebration. But after today's surprise, it will be a holiday the boys never forget.

"Just to see the smile on those kids' face, it was amazing, one of the best days of my life," Kemp said.


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