Saturday's open gym was at the JH Morgan Gym in Cartersville and is one of many held in the Chatt Tech service area, which includes Bartow County.
David Archer, head basketball coach, said participants play against quality opposition with Chatt Tech coaches in attendance.
"Being a technical college, we have the ability to offer scholarships to athletes who are students and want to continue their athletic pursuits at the college level," Archer said. "The good thing about our situation is not only can students come and receive degree-level courses that will transfer to four-year schools, but we also have those other types of educational training in diplomas and certificates that allow people to get into the work force a little quicker than most college students."
He said their approach is flexible.
"If they don't desire to move on athletically," he said, "they can play for us two years and move into the work force. At the same time, we can offer student athletes the opportunity to come and play two years and, if they're athletically gifted enough, move on to the next level.
"Keith Lundy works with me as associate head coach [and] our philosophy is to help young men succeed in the classroom and on the basketball court."
The open gyms increase the number of athletes considered at Chatt Tech.
"In our situation, we don't have a lot of recruiting dollars. We don't get a chance to get out and see players during their high school season as much as we would like, so the open gym setting allows guys to come in and we can view them out on the court playing other quality players."
Archer said the student athletes are from the Chatt Tech service area as well as Georgia and other states, from South Carolina to Texas.
"We look in our service area first," he said, "which includes Paulding, Bartow, Cobb, Cherokee, Gilmer and Pickens counties. We work to identify those potential student athletes first. There were quite a few at the gym [Saturday] from our service area."
There's also no telling where the students might come from, even the school itself.
Archer said one of Saturday's participants already is enrolling at Chattahoochee Tech.
"He's a quality player," Archer said, "so it's a no-brainer for us to take a look at him a little more closely. [Former Cartersville High player ] Keith Gamble is here. We have one from South Carolina."
Archer said a number of basketball players will be attending Chatt Tech as a result of the open gyms.
"We have seven or eight guys who are scheduled to return," he said. "During the spring, any variety of things can happen. Going into next year -- even if they're a sophomore -- they have to qualify academically. We need help at every position: point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center. We could use somebody at each position."
He said the biggest need this year is post position help. "We had six post players and five of them were sophomores, so they'll be moving on. We have one returning and that's one of the biggest voids we're trying to fill."
The next scheduled open gym at JH Morgan gym is May 12.
"We have others set up on Sundays, pretty much every weekend," Archer said.
Archer said any player who piques their interest will get a serious look.
"We can bring them in for a specialized workout if we're interested. For example, Javarez Cooper, we'll have him back. We'll take a look at him again. He's a very good player. I never met him before today. I didn't know he was even coming for Open Gym today. Sometimes you find diamonds in the rough."
Cooper, who attended Redan High in Stone Mountain, said he learned of the open gym while checking out the basketball program at Chattahoochee Tech.
He said he wanted to take information technology and Chatt Tech has a good reputation in that area.
Cooper said he attended the open gym to catch the notice of school coaches. "I hope to attend and obtain a basketball scholarship. Hopefully, I'll play for them and I'll do well. I want to go on and play at a higher level."
The athlete said he's serious about school and life.
"When I was younger, I wasn't too focused. I was just doing it for a hobby," he said. "I didn't take it too seriously and didn't actually take advantage of my tools. They could get me to the next level. After I had a setback in my life, I gained an understanding I could be using my tools to help me get to the next level, whether it's playing basketball or gaining a degree."
Also attending the open gym were members of the basketball team at Chatt Tech.
Chevelan Pearson, who was born in Chicago but moved to Georgia at age 11 and attended several schools, including Walton High in Marietta. Pearson graduated from Walton in 2011, and played power forward, averaging 10 points and 10 rebounds.
A starter at Chatt Tech, he played power forward and averaged 7 points and 7 rebounds per game. Pearson said he liked what he saw at the open gym. "They have some talent out here."
Pearson is pursuing a technical specialist degree and said he is taking core classes at Chatt Tech.
"I want to major in early childhood and work with children."
He hopes his stint at Chatt Tech helps him play at the next level in college, then the NBA or overseas. "That's been my dream ever since I started playing basketball."
He is looking for the school to add the kind of talent it takes to have a successful basketball season.
"Depending on what we bring in, we can get our name out there, get all our names out there," he said.
Another athlete keenly interested that Chatt Tech get more talented athletes is Clifton Cormier, another member of the team.
Cormier, said he moved to the Atlanta area from Houston to find work, was injured last year during practice and is looking to have a good year this season.
"I really came just to work," Cormier said, adding he was encouraged by friends to try out at Chatt Tech and later was signed to play there. "I kind of wanted to go back to school anyway."
He said he is hoping to obtain an associate's degree and then transfer to a Division I school.
The shooting guard/small forward said, "I'm trying to help my parents as much as possible by getting a basketball scholarship to help pay my way through school. Hopefully it'll take me all the way through, maybe further."