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'We are doing it for the city' | Rec basketball transforms into nationally-ranked Atlanta team

They now need help getting to another tournament in Miami.

ATLANTA — A young basketball team in Atlanta is scoring points on the national stage. The Atlanta Kings are ranked 30th in the nation, but they want to go all the way to the top.

"The gold is for the royalty and the black is for the culture." Coach Jetterson Phipps told 11Alive. "I look at them as Black kings. So they're the Atlanta Kings, so we are doing it for the culture, we are doing it for the city."

The Atlanta Kings started as a 7th and 8th grade recreation team out of the Martin Luther King Center in downtown. Once the coaches saw how good the kids were getting, they decided to start a travel team from the ground up. Now they compete, and win, all over the country.

"I want to win a state championship, I want to be nationally ranked." 14-year-old Frank Jackson said.

"When I found out, I was really excited because I didn't really know at first, I didn't know we were being looked at." Teen Walt Higgins III said. "It was really exciting to me to have our names up there. 30th, 50th, 20th - the goal is #1! But that just goes to show that we are making steps and pushing forward."

The coach said that the challenge is off the court, raising the money needed to compete at this level. The team's next tournament, set in Miami, is in June. To fly the entire team to Florida, get rooms and feed everyone, the coach said it will cost nearly $20,000.

To help the team, visit the online fundraiser