By Gabby Gamez
Shooting from the three point line and making the game changing shot, are what the Builder men’s basketball team are known for.
Though on Friday Oct. 10 the Builders could have been found hunching over their 6-foot frames reading picture books on small chairs surrounded by the eager children at Country View Elementary School.
Matt O’Brien, head men’s basketball coach, said “I really believe they realize how fortunate they are by doing these service projects. They can understand how lucky they are to be college athletes and coaches.”
The men’s basketball team joined in the partnership with Jardine and Truesdell middle school that Southwestern has. The team went up to the middle schools and played with the kids and talked to them about college.
Breno Schmidt, junior forward and center, said “They see us and think that they can get a degree just like us.” That is the mindset that continues to motivate the team to make a difference in the community.
The men’s basketball team is extremely proud of the reading service projects they do annually. O’Brien said “It makes men’s basketball special.” The reading program is the ice breaker for the team as they use it as an invitation to serve local elementary schools any way they can.
They visit select elementary schools in the area to promote the importance of reading and education to elementary aged children, as well as share the five core values of the Characters of Champions.
- Integrity: Student – athletes know and do what is right.
- Respect: Treat others the way you want to be treated.
- Responsibility: Embrace opportunities to contribute to the team’s goals.
- Sportsmanship: Bring your best to all competitions.
- Servant Leadership: Serving the common good. Inspire and help others to grow, succeed and lead.
Drew Hudson, junior power forward, said “The service projects build team bonding and it’s good for the community.”
The men’s team sees their involvement in this unique service project with elementary and middle school kids, as part of the program. The time and effort that was put into the service project, gives the team a firsthand experience at the ground breaking results which makes it all worth it.
The Builders will have their first home game at 6 p.m., Nov. 3 in Stewart Field House against Ozark Christian College.
Gabby Gamez is a junior majoring in communication. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.