The Keene State College Men’s Basketball Team opened up the Spaulding Gym to a group of young superstars on Jan. 7.
The Owls’ men’s basketball squad hosted an hour long clinic for children prior to the spring semester beginning.
The children were all residents of Keene Housing, an organization which provides housing for low-income families in the Monadnock region.
This was the second straight year this event has taken place and, along with other activities put on by the Owls, Head Coach Rob Colbert wanted his players to recognize the importance of giving back.
“It’s really important for us to understand the role that we have in this community. Both on campus, and in the local community,” Colbert said.
While the clinic was semi-instructional, most of the time with the young guests was spent doing relay races, shoot-arounds and dribbling games that allowed everyone to be involved and make the most of the experience.
“The experience itself was really cool,” sophomore guard Lucas Hammel said. Hammel continued, “The kids were great and the kids on our basketball team did a great job interacting with them, so I think overall it was a really good experience for us.”
Hammel also added that he saw the clinic as a team building opportunity.
“Being able to get together and do an activity that’s not about you but more about kids who are maybe not as privileged as you, I think that always helps bring a team a little bit closer together,” Hammel said.
The clinic served not only as a community-building exercise, but also a reminder of members of the Keene community who may not be as fortunate as others.
“It really puts things in perspective when you see kids that do have as much as you do, so it was cool for all of us to be together,” sophomore Paul Emdin said.
Emdin also said that he enjoyed being able give back to the community, “It was cool to give back and make a couple kids days just by hanging out with them for an hour,” Edmin said.
According to Colbert, the team has no plans to put on any other events this semester because of the busy schedule of its season, but he emphasized his willingness to continue community outreach in the future and support those who support the KSC Owls.
“It’s really important for us to engage in the community that comes out and sees us and supports us. Whatever way we can support them,” Colbert said. “If just to bring a smile to a kids face, or to teach them a little bit about basketball or just to spend time with them then that’s what we’ll do.”
Jacob Barrett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org