Fall Tour: Charis Prep 

September, 19, 2012
WILSON, N.C. -- Without Carlos Peralta, there might not have been a Jimmy Graham. Miami might not have signed Graham as a basketball player. He may never have made it to the football field for the Hurricanes. And who knows, maybe the New Orleans Saints don’t get a chance to draft him.

[+] EnlargeJimmy Graham
Derick E. Hingle/US PresswireBefore he became one of the NFL's best tight ends and started dunking footballs through goal posts, Jimmy Graham was throwing down dunks as a prep hoops star at Charis Prep in North Carolina.
Peralta, the head coach at Charis Prep in North Carolina, was there to help Graham at a pivotal time in a complicated upbringing. The coach has a big heart. When the NCAA came in a few years ago and slapped his program on a “blacklist” and wouldn’t accredit his school, Peralta didn’t quit. He’s still operating Charis Prep, still giving kids a chance -- most of them their final chance.

This year’s Charis Prep roster has post-grads who are either cleared, registered with the NCAA, overseas or need to pump up their test scores. There are no secrets. On his roster, he lists their academic and accreditation status all on the same line.