Ratliff dedicated to center

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 10, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Though Theo Ratliff&8217;s busy schedule training and attending functions associated with his role as a player in the NBA keep him away from his hometown more than he would like, he continues to stay involved and abreast of the plans for his namesake center here.

The Theo Ratliff Center, which was started as a way for the community to access facilities that they would otherwise not have, has been embraced by individuals of the area and it programs continue to grow. Ratliff said he has stayed involved with the center he helped create and is not surprised by its success.

Ratliff said he is excited about the center&8217;s efforts to receive grants to expand the facilities. He said since the idea of the center was first brought to him, he has envisioned it offering more than the current structure can support.

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Ratliff said the expansion of the center will allow the various activities it provides to expand as well. He said he looks to have more rooms added so that programs do not have to clear out the gym for their activities.

Ratliff said this desire to help everyone in the community is one of the main reasons he made sure that his namesake center was open to everyone and free to the public. He said since he is not around to oversee the center it is also important to have a community orientated staff, like the one under Edward Ward, the director of the center.