Local Gym Owner Works to Inspire Others

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — For some of the kids at TNT training, it’s just a game, but for Terrell Warren, founder of TNT Elite Training.

Basketball is life.

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“I love the game and I still love the game to this day.”

But it wasn’t always life.

For 12 years, Terrell worked at Steel Dynamics assisting with sheet metal. Then Terrell teamed up with his pastor to help his son play AAU basketball. That’s when the love for the game won him over.

“He started an AAU team for my middle son. I said you know what? I want to start one for my oldest son too. So I added another age group to it,” Warren said.

Ten teams later, not only is 35 year old Terrell Warren helping boys and girls of all ages achieve their hoop dreams. He’s helping other young men “never give up on your dreams” make theirs come true.

“I’m 23. This is just the beginning,” T.J. Stephens said.

Twenty three year old T.J. Stephens father worked at Steel Dynamics with Terrell.

“I told my dad about my dreams. Once I said that, he said I know a guy,” Stephens said.

Like Terrell, Stephens took a chance on himself.

“I really did it out of faith you know. Before I got in here, I didn’t have any clients,” Stephens said.

Now, he helps athletes build the foundation needed to compete in the weight room. Before that was even possible, the kids were the ones helping lay the foundation for the gym.

“Man the kids put gym floor down in 4 hours,” Warren said.

In August 2020, The kids helped lay the court giving the gym life.

”I said oh they’re tired. They don’t want to play ball. No they put it down in 4 and played another 2,” Warren said.

From the official opening in October, they’ve been playing ball at the gym ever since.

Basketball fundamentals aren’t the only lessons being taught.

“They teach you morals in life,” Amro said.

Mirah Amro can’t carry the ball when navigating through defenders, but the fourteen-year-old already has learned a lesson from Terrell and the team that she will carry with her.

“There’s a saying I can lead you to water but I can’t lead you to drink. They can lead you to many ways to make yourself better, but if it doesn’t start with you. You aren’t getting anywhere,” Amro said.

Motivation and desire. Two qualities that not only have helped Terrell’s players win on the hardwood but have helped him win in Life.