The sports-loving Powell family found community and connection in the Legacy neighborhood
By Anna-Rhesa Versola | Photography By John Michael Simpson
In the holiday movie classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the main character discovers that true wealth is bound in relationships with family, friends and community. In real life, Dedric Powell already knows what he values most. “I’m all about family,” he says. “That’s how I measure success, and by how well my kids are doing.”
Cherice Powell grins and quickly adds, “And how happy your wife is.” Dedric laughs and says, “We’re fortunate, and I’m so thankful that we have the things we have, but I don’t like to measure my success by things.”
The Powells moved into their 3,366-square-foot home, which is nearly twice the size of their previous residence near downtown Pittsboro, last year. They enjoy five bedrooms, four full bathrooms and a three-car garage inside the Legacy neighborhood off of Big Woods Road near Jordan Lake. The three-level home has 9-foot ceilings, an open floor plan and a first-floor guest bedroom with an en suite bathroom. Outside, a screened porch and spacious deck are inviting spaces to entertain company or simply hang out.
Cherice started daydreaming of a home just like this one about five years ago. Spending more time at home during the pandemic solidified that desire, as the couple realized they needed more room to work while their three kids were learning remotely.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
Their eldest is 22-year-old Cera Powell, a 6-foot scholarship athlete at Virginia Tech who plays the outside hitter position on the women’s volleyball team. She is a senior majoring in human nutrition, foods and exercise and is considering a career in medicine.
The middle child is 6-feet-2-inch Dedric “Deuce” Powell. He played football, basketball and baseball while at Northwood High School and landed a basketball scholarship as a guard for Louisburg College, which is northeast of Raleigh. The 20-year-old is now a junior majoring in business at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro.
The youngest is the one they ask to retrieve items from the top shelf in the kitchen, Cherice says. Drake Powell, 17, is a 6-foot-6-inch junior at Northwood who recently committed to playing basketball for Hubert Davis at UNC. As it happens, Cherice and Hubert are cousins – their uncle, Walter Davis, is a former UNC basketball player who went on to play in the NBA and was on the gold medal-winning team at the 1976 Summer Olympics.
Cherice, who happens to be 5 feet, 9 inches tall, played basketball all throughout high school. She is a UNC alumna with an undergraduate degree in psychology and a master’s in rehabilitation psychology and counseling. She primarily works from home, providing expert testimony in court cases involving Social Security disability issues. Her second-floor office doubles as her fitness room with free weights and a Peloton bike.
Dedric’s office is on the third floor, where he works remotely as a regional manager for a global biotech company in Morrisville. At 6 feet, he played basketball plus baseball throughout high school and earned his UNC letterman status in baseball in 1989.
ON AND OFF THE COURT
Surprisingly, there’s no basketball goal over the garage door. Instead, before Drake got his driver’s license, Cherice or Dedric would wake him at 5:30 a.m. and drive him down Highway 64 to the Northwest Cary YMCA. “[All] so he could shoot on the courts because no one would be there, and he likes the court to himself,” Cherice says of Drake’s dedication to developing individual skills.
“Another thing about getting a house like this,” Cherice says, looking around the living room. “I want the kids to come back. [Dedric] doesn’t, but I do. And even if they [move] back themselves, that’s fine for a short term. And then they go out [and] have families, but then bring their families back, and they don’t have to stay in a hotel – we can all be in here.”
Cherice smiles at Dedric. He looks at her with a knowing smile. Their new home checks off all the boxes on their wish list – location, gated community, clubhouse amenities, separate offices and room enough for boomerang kids and guests. “The house itself has enough space with the flexibility to be cozy and intimate, but at the same time, we have our own spaces to retreat to,” Cherice clarifies. “We did have Christmas dinner here with our extended families in 2021. We traditionally host, and it was really nice to do that in this space with the open concept.”
Spending time with family and friends is the currency of choice for both Dedric and Cherice. “I didn’t have a dad coming up,” says Dedric, who grew up in Columbus County outside of Wilmington, North Carolina. “And that motivated me to be the best dad and the best husband that I could be. Seeing them happy – that makes me feel good.”
He remembers the tag-team parenting with Cherice when the kids were younger – he worked night shifts while she worked during the day. “Working all night, I come home, go on field trips then go back to work,” Dedric says, smiling and shaking his head. “You know, I think back on that time, and even though it was hard, and I didn’t get much sleep, I really enjoyed being there for my kids.”