MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Shack Neighborhood House, a community center that serves hundreds of children and thousands of families each year, welcomed West Virginia University student-athletes to its WVU Mini Day of Play.
Athletes from men and women’s basketball, football, cheerleading, gymnastics and rowing hosted athletic and educational stations for about 20 kids on Friday morning. WVU Mini Day of Play is a program through Get Moving WV, a nonprofit that provides opportunities for students to get up and get moving through partnerships with current WVU student-athletes as well as former NFL athletes.
“It’s very important,” WVU Men’s Basketball Player Jalen Bridges said. “Because as Mountaineers, we tackle obstacles, we keep climbing up. Some of these kids aren’t as fortunate as others, so just by giving them this experience, we can just show them that they can do whatever they want in this world.”
Bridges and his teammates played basketball with children at his station. They taught children how to shoot.
And when they got bored of that, he and his teammates took them to the swings to have more fun.
“I’m just having a great time,” Bridges said.
Another athlete who was having a great time and shooting around with the children was WVU Women’s Basketball Player, Yemiyah Morris.
“We’ve had a blast, honestly,” she said. “The children — they have so much energy and they’re so willing to learn like the different sports that we have, so it’s pretty fun.”
Giving back to the community, Morris said, is her thing.
“I like to do it anyway because I mean, like I travel and lived around a lot of places, so I like to give back to any community that’s given to me,” Morris said. “So, West Virginia, I definitely don’t mind giving back to them.”
Both Bridges and Morris said giving back to the community is part of the Mountaineer Way.
Morris said she believed that it’s important to be a positive force in your community.
“We have a huge impact on, like, people in the community and children coming up in the community, so I think that it’s pretty important for us to be here and show our faces outside of basketball,” she said.
Both athletes said they plan on coming back to the Shack Neighborhood House.
“Of course,” Bridges said. “It’s my second time being here, so I’ll probably be back again in the near future. I love being here it’s super fun.”
At the event of the event, the Shack students received another huge surprise from the generous donations of the Give a Hoop Foundation. Each student received a brand-new pair of shoes.
Also, all the students and athletes came together to sing Country Roads, a long-standing tradition. The students also received a t-shirt as well as a take-home bag of items and activities.