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Men's Basketball

 

Lions Basketball is a Microcosm of Life

Lions Basketball is a Microcosm of Life

Wallace State Community College's men's basketball program in Hanceville, Alabama, consistently tries to instill in its players that: "Basketball is a microcosm of life."

For many players who enter the program, life on the 94-by-50 foot court is all they have ever known about the sport. Most have no idea the degree to which their involvement in the sport can penetrate the collegiate community as well as the community abroad, and the rewards and fulfillment they will reap through such activities. It's fulfillment that dwells much longer and is more impactful than any dunk or 3-point basket.

Recently, the Wallace State men's basketball team visited the local Cullman City Head Start program, a place where Wallace State has frequented nearly every month for the past two years. The Cullman City Head Start mission is: "to offer eligible children and their families … the quality guidance and services they need to reach their highest potential of social competence that allows them to be successful in school and in life." One of their core beliefs is that: "a family empowered is a community empowered."

Wallace State men's basketball players, coaches and managers recently had the opportunity to read to students, participate in outdoor activities, engulf themselves in the students' learning environment and complete the day by having lunch with the students and some of their family members.

Below is an excerpt of a story that resulted from the recent visit, as told by M'Kori Johnson, a staff member at Cullman City Head Start:

"I wanted to let you know that one of the students in Head Start came in Monday morning NOT CRYING!!!! He has had a huge change in his life over the past month. He has cried EVERYDAY since these issues have happened. He came into class ALL smiles {today}. His teacher asked him, because she was very surprised at his behavior, what was going on. With all smiles he said, "Are the tall boys that play basketball coming in today?" His teacher said he was so excited and ready {for class}. She did tell him they would not be in, but that they would be back. I just wanted you to know that your team made a huge impact on many of our kids".

Wallace State Community College's men's basketball team plans to participate in such projects throughout the course of the year, looking to give back to the greater Hanceville community and surrounding areas. Also, in groundbreaking fashion, the 2015-2016 men's basketball team will become the first National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) team, regardless of sport, to participate in regular season games on a foreign soil. They will travel to the Dominican Republic in mid-November and, while playing two games there, will have several opportunities to give back to that community in much of the same ways that they have given back to the communities in north Alabama.