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About Harold Doby, a Hometown Hero, and Today’s Coat Drive

Doby and childhood friend Reggie Middleton, two former NCAA standouts turned entrepreneurs and community servants, will host a Coat Drive Sunday between 12:00 and 3:00 at Middleton’s Came From Nxthing shop in downtown Augusta.

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Harold Doby (left) and Chad Cook in June 2019

Harold Doby organized a “Coat Drive” today from 12:00 to 3:00 at Reggie Middleton’s “Came from Nxthing” retail shop downtown. Harold said after he gathers the coats he will take them to under the 13th Street bridge to hand them out. If he has coats left over his next stop will be the Department of Family and Children’s Services.

Harold is a unique and commendable man. In addition to his current extensive career in a local chemical factory, he and Reggie work together and invest to start various entrepreneurial endeavors. And his charitable work, like the kind he is doing today, has almost too long of a record to detail here.

Some people might remember him from his All-Conference Augusta University basketball playing days, or his standout high school run at Laney. And they might even have an imprint in their mind from his being unfortunately spotlighted in the local media after being reprimanded by local law enforcement for being tangentially involved in a couple matters that, honestly, do not reflect poorly on his character or his behavior, as anybody who knows Harold, or the details of those matters, would confidently attest to.

So on a Sunday morning, during church time, I think it’s an appropriate time to tip a hat to a hometown hero of mine. And if you have a coat that somebody can benefit from receiving, consider going and donating to a good cause.

The Coat Drive will be hosted at the Came From Nxthing retail shop located at 120 James Brown Blvd. Augusta, GA.

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Former Basketball Stars Lead the Way in Business, Community Service and Artistic Pursuits

Harold Doby, Reggie Middleton and Roman Hill have turned a brand into a business, a lifestyle and a mental framework for impacting their community.

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Reggie Middleton (left) and Harold Doby (right)

On January 4th, the day after Harold Doby’s “Books and Life Lessons” (B.A.L.L.) charitable organization conducted a coat drive to help keep warm some of the most vulnerable people in the downtown area, I spoke with Doby and Reggie Middleton, two lifelong friends and former college and high school basketball stars, at Middleton’s “Came From Nxthing Designer Apparel” shop at 120 James Brown Boulevard. Our interview (below) covered the coat drive, Reggie’s entrepreneurial journey, and the meaning behind the “Came From Nxthing” brand, which originated from the music of Roman Hill, our third interviewee. Hill’s friendship with Doby and Middleton helped sprout a “movement” that has provided a framework for the three former athletes to impact the world through acts of community service, business, art, entrepreneurship and charity.

*Interview*

The interview provided me a great chance to get reacquainted with two men I’ve watched grow up from being boys who excelled in a game (basketball) to leaders of their families and their community. I bet others who watched them star at Glenn Hills and Winthrop (Middleton), and at Laney and Augusta University (Doby), will also gain satisfaction from hearing, for example, Reggie explain how he took advantage of his basketball talent to earn a job playing professional basketball in London, and then used his experience there to hatch his business idea to bring high quality fashion for an affordable price to people in his hometown.

Reggie Middleton scored 1,186 points for Winthrop. Now he owns Came From Nxthing Designer Apparel.

And Harold’s concern for people who are the most in need, whether it be the men and women he personally distributed the coats to earlier this month, or the students in his school he recalled giving clothes and shoes to when he was in grade school, is the original reason for my getting back into contact with the two men I once coached and taught when they were middle schoolers.

Harold Doby distributed coats in downtown Augusta on January 4.

I’m grateful we reconnected because they are a shining example for what can be greatest about sports and the community that builds around such a life journey: strong, caring relationships developed through shared experiences, encounters with adversity and moments of triumph, as well as failures and hardships. Reggie’s story about how he has been able to take the difficult circumstances of the pandemic and nonetheless thrive in business with his “back against the wall” by drawing on his experiences as a basketball player growing up reinforces something I’ve always believed, that youth sports is great practice for real life. 

Look out for news of the next Drive from B.A.L.L.

Harold Doby and Reggie Middleton, as well as Roman Hill, whom Doby first met as his rapping Augusta University basketball teammate, are winning the game of real life every bit as much as they did when they mastered the game of basketball as younger men.
Visit the Came From Nxthing Designer Aparrel Facebook page to see Reggie’s merchandise, shop with him online or find store information:

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