Lady Rams Give Back to Community Hosting the NCCAA Tournament
The Lady Rams while competing in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Championship in Winona Lake, Indiana, took time away to give back at the Miller's Merry Manor a live in center.
March 17, 2010
The Lady Rams basketball team and coaches participated in the NCCAA Service Project with Merry Manor.
Bluefield, VA-- The Lady Rams while competing in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Championship in Winona Lake, Indiana, took time away to give back at the Miller's Merry Manor a live in center.
Bluefield College was one of eight schools that took Wednesday March 10, as a day to give back to the community hosting the national tournament. Emmanuel College athletes, Franklin Springs, Ga., volunteered at Heartline Pregnancy Center; and North Greenville College, Tigerville, S.C., athletes volunteered at the Boys & Girls Club of Kosciusko County. King College athletes, Bristol, Tenn., volunteered at Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church, Grace College basketball players met with residents at Grace Village Assisted Living, and players from Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Ohio, read to students in a first-grade class at Jefferson Elementary School, Winona Lake, and spoke during an assembly. Bethel College players, Mishawaka, talked with Cardinal Services' clients and helped construct chicken coop pieces for Chore Time Brock. Ecclesia College, Springdale, Ark., organized canned foods and made ribbons for a "Light The Way" event, a vigil that will be held in Whitley County to honor young children in Indiana who have died as a result of abuse.
With all road games and tournament settings the team learns more about their teammates this time the Lady Rams got the opportunity to learn more about the people that call Miller's Merry Manor home and in addition they learned more about themselves.
" This experience was great. It allowed us to put others before us, while at the same time helping each other," said Antonia Cataldi, a freshman from Warrenton, VA. " Although the senior citizens home made many teammates emotional, our team stood by each other and got thru it."
Cataldi who shares that her favorite part of the day was playing Uno. She recalls that one lady would get excited and yell "one card" whenever she was close to winning. She also recalls that the biggest thing that sticks out to her was the facial expressions when they walked through the door.
"Many of the people's faces there quickly turned into a big smile when they saw the team walk in. I really enjoyed spending time at the living center," said Cataldi.
While her teammate De'Onna Darling, a sophomore from Powder Springs, GA recalls her favorite memories of the visit.
"What was most interesting about the woman my group talked with was that she played basketball. She was a center for a small college in Indiana called Beaver Dam College. She said that the college no longer existed and that all that remained was a plaque," recalled Darling.
While the lady in her group shared memories from the death of one of children, to the remaining three, being raised in Chicago, and her many travels in her lifetime. She told the group about her trip to Hawaii, and how they missed their flight.
"One of the funniest things besides them almost missing their flight to Hawaii, was that she wouldn't tell us her age and suggested that we guess. It was really nice to talk to her today and learn about her life," said Darling.
Hannah Lawrence, a junior from Bluefield VA, recalls that her and Megan Randall, a freshman from Knoxville, Tennessee got with a man who was a former player and coach of Grace College.
"He had multiple sclerosis and he was bound to a wheelchair, but was so nice to us. He thanked Megan and I on more than one occasion for "mingling with him" in the hallway outside of his room," recalled Lawrence.
Lawrence also recalls that he gave the two pointers on Grace College. Telling the duo how they liked to push the ball and run the floor.
Lawrence also talked to woman who confided in here that she had been there for two years, and that she had also outlived her parents and was proud of that.
"Overall the experience was very heartwarming and I think that we made their day. I enjoyed the time there and had a great time in Indiana."
The community project wasn't just for the players to participate in the coaches met with the residents and learned a lot from them as well.
"I had the privilege to meet a man who was the coach in Indiana both at the college and high school level. He told me and Jessica Brokaw all kinds of stories about coaching and playing the game he loved," recalls Coach Steve Hardin, head coach of the Lady Rams about his and assistant coach Jessica Brokaw's trip.
"The workers thanked us so much for staying and talking to him because they said he needed some company but I felt honored to meet a man with such high character and learn about how he talked and taught his players."
Hardin who also praised the NCCAA National Tournament and all they offer at the national tournament level.
"This is a class act tournament that is ran better than any National tournament I have been to. The NCCAA National Tournament was a great experience for our team on and off the floor," commented Hardin.
The Lady Rams finished in fifth place at the NCCAA National Tournament beating King College, for the first time in four years.