Editor’s note: February is Black History Month, and in an effort to commemorate the many men and women who have been an influential part of African American history, The Sampson Independent will feature someone from the community each Tuesday in February.
NEWTON GROVE — Greg Orr Jr. is enjoying earning victories with his basketball teammates. But his compassion for his community makes him a winner too.
The senior from Midway High School was recently honored with the Tom Suiter Extra Effort Award for his contributions in the community. It was presented by WRAL-TV, which is awarded weekly to senior athletes.
“I was a little surprised when I got it,” Orr said about the award.
Orr plays point guard for the Midway Raiders varsity basketball team. He’s been playing basketball since he was 6. Around the same time, he moved to Sampson County from Queens, N.Y. with his mother Elizabeth Xavier.
“I was real young, but it was different for me,” he said. “New York and North Carolina are two different things, with the city and the country.”
But he enjoyed calling Sampson County home.
“It was pretty cool to move down here because it was better for school,” Orr said “New York has a lot of distractions.”
When he’s not in school or on the court, Orr spends his time volunteering at different locations in the area. Some of his recent contributions included working in a soup kitchen in Dunn, donating book bags and buying clothes for children in need.
“I know a lot of people aren’t as fortunate,” he said about helping others in need.
His charity work goes back many years. In 2010, Orr organized a drive to help children in Haiti. In the fifth grade, he collected supplies with his classmates from Plain View Elementary School.
Xavier provides assistance with some of the volunteer efforts. She’s proud of the accomplishment and his work to help others. As a 5’7” player, one of his favorite quotes come from Nate Robinson —“Heart Over Height.”
“Once you see him play, you can’t help but help watch and see how good he when it comes to basketball,” Xavier said.
The quote is something he lives by.
“Work hard,” he said while giving advice. “No goal is too big to achieve to me.”
The team was recently scheduled to compete in the first round of the state playoffs.
“It’s pretty exciting,” he said about playing one of his last games in a Midway uniform.
After graduation, he would like to attend and play basketball for Newberry College in South Carolina or Methodist University in Fayetteville. In the future, he would like to become a real estate professional.
But in the meantime, he’ll enjoy his remaining months at Midway.
“It’s like a big family in that school,” he said. “Everybody likes each other. I’ve played with a lot of guys since middle school, so it’s great to see how we’ve grown together.”