Jerrod Harris/Getty Images/Alexandria-Monroe High School
Joey Feek‘s hometown of Alexandria, Indiana, has made headlines for rallying around the singer after her terminal cancer diagnosis in October of 2015. But, the fact is that the town has always supported Joey.
Long before she was one half of the duo of Joey+Rory, she was Joey Martin, a talented country girl who loved to sing and play basketball. Many in the community are taking the time to reflect on the girl they knew years before she rose to fame.
WKRN went back to Joey’s old stomping ground to hear from some of the people who knew her during her early years. Their first stop was her high school. In Alexandria-Monroe High School, photos of Joey and her team donning their basketball jerseys can be found hanging in the hallway. But, her former basketball coach, Jon Howell, went a step further and is using Joey’s story as inspiration for the students. Howell hung a large photo of the singer on his office door with the message “Find someone strong, confident, intelligent, faithful, and learn.”
Today, more than 20 years after Joey graduated from high school, Howell remembers her as more than just a basketball player.
“She didn’t just sing, she was pure country even as a young child,” Howell said. “She was a tremendous talent from the start.”
Howell also remembers Joey as a hard worker and a leader.
“It’s all about people paying attention to her life and how she’s chosen to live it at the end,” Howell said. “The way she is living her life right up until the very end is nothing short of an inspiration, not only to us in Alexandria, but all over the world.”
Watch the full story of Coach Howell remembering Joey Feek in the video below.
Joey Feek was a bright light in this world, and still remains one as her legacy lives on through her music and her endless hope and love she shared with the world.