THE FLATS – Over the past several days, the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team participated in a number of community service events to celebrate the national WBCA Day of Service initiative. The Yellow Jackets visited a local children’s hospital, middle school and elementary school.
Last Friday, members of the Yellow Jackets visited Laurel Heights Hospital and spent the morning with the children running basketball drills and signing autographs for nearly 90 children. Laurel Heights Hospital is an inpatient facility designed to effectively treat the psychiatric crisis of children and adolescents who present with a co-occurring Autism Spectrum Disorder or other neuro-developmental disorders.
“It was a very humbling experience with kids that face different difficulties in life,” said junior Zaire O’Neil. “We were able to put smiles on their faces and have fun with them through basketball and good conversation.”
Tech opened the morning with some stretching exercises provided by Director of Olympic Sports Player Development Scott McDonald and followed by hand-picking participants to run basketball drills. The Yellow Jackets were greeted with an entrance to the Georgia Tech fight song and numerous hand-painted banners by each unit.
“The visit at Laurel Heights Hospital was truly an amazing experience,” commented senior Katarina Vuckovic. “We had such a warm welcome, but my favorite part was going through some basketball drills with the kids.”
On Tuesday, the Yellow Jackets visited Sylvan Hills Middle School to help the local school jump start its reading awareness month. Team members were given the opportunity to speak on the importance of reading, while promoting Tech’s Jacket 2 Jacket program.
Following introductions, the Yellow Jackets were each paired with a student from the reading program for several fun basketball competitions against each other.
Carrying over the theme of reading, Zutorya Cook and Anne Francoise Diouf visited The Main Street Academy on Wednesday to read the book 1,2,3 Team! to select children in the school. The story focuses on the true value of being a team and working together.
“It was a great experience this morning reading to the children,” freshman Anne Francoise Diouf said. “My favorite part was seeing the kids so excited and enthusiastic about learning and reading.”
The WBCA officially held its inaugural “WBCA Day of Service” on Wednesday, Sept. 28. The organization asked all programs to engage in some act of service – small or large – within their community. The initiative was a way for teams to get out in the community, but also raise awareness of women’s basketball.