CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS)-- "I've lived through it and I've made it out so just showing kids that you know it is possible. That's what I want to do," started former UVA basketball star Travis Watson.

After playing for the Cavaliers from 1999-2003, Watson's basketball career took him all across the globe, but in the end, it brought him back to Charlottesville for the purpose of helping others. 

"I played 15 years overseas. I played in 6 different countries, and I've learned a lot. A lot of different cultures, heard a lot of different languages," explained Watson, "But the bug for mentorship continued on and I ended up coming back to the States."

During his time on the Virginia basketball court, Watson set a record for offensive rebounds that still stands today. Now he's back in Charlottesville making a different kind of impact, starting his own training and mentorship program: Legacy Driven Training at The Players Zone.

"Just his knowledge of the game it's just like incredible," said one of Watson's trainees Timmy Guertin, "And just he is teaching me stuff that other trainers haven't taught me in three years."

Watson's goal is to make Legacy Driven a full nonprofit. Its purpose is to provide not just on-court skills but a safe space for kids in the community, just like the kind he found growing up in the gym.

"I found a safe haven," said Watson, "I am from Dallas Texas, we have recreational centers and I had a mentor when I was younger and at that time he allowed us to come in after hours and gave us a place to play basketball and that was the idea that I had during this time just to see how it would turn out."

With a successful on-court career behind him, Watson is teaching kids what basketball taught him: that the game can be a home and a ticket to a brighter future.

"Basketball was actually more therapeutic than anything because you know a lot of things go on in here that don't allow you to think too much about life," said Watson, "For me that allowed me to want to be out here, and also finding success in it. I ended up getting a free education and playing around the world and did not have to go back to what I used to know. That is something I would like to show them."

"It lets me know that I basically found a home and I know I am safe here," said Guertin, "I got one of the best basketball players I know now and a bright future."