NEW ORLEANS - There's no days off during March Madness and that was the case for UTA women's basketball as it helped out at the Science of Basketball event at Lakefront Arena, the host site for the Sun Belt Championship tournament.
Coming off its first-ever SBC tournament win on Thursday night against South Alabama, UTA returned to the arena to meet with kids from local schools. The event, sponsored by the Sun Belt, taught kids about the science and math of the sport and how the relation between the athletic world is just as important as the classroom.
"It is a great opportunity that the Sun Belt has created for us to be able to come back and give back to the city of New Orleans," UTA coach Krista Gerlich said. "It is important to be out in their schools and integrated in their youth to bring awareness to our tournament and also to impact the youth of the area to let them know that our kids are great role models and give them something to strive for and look forward to.
Stations were set up in the Lakefront Arena practice gym and concourse in which UTA players helped with the students. Christina Devers, Cierra Johnson, Crystal Allen and Lauren Billie met with the group as a whole to go over the importance of stretching before playing, as well as showing the kids proper techniques within the basics of the game.
Following the group session, the kids worked with the players individuals in skills that included dribbling, passing, and a personal favorite of Rebekah VanDijk, showing the kids how to increase their jump.
The women's program is no stranger to giving back to the community. UTA is top's in the Sun Belt in earning community service points and ranked No. 5 in the nation according to TeamWorks in Division I women's basketball.
Our team has done a great job all year long in being involved in community service," Gerlich said. "We lead our SAAC group in community service points and we are fifth in the nation in community service points with other Division I women's basketball programs. I am really proud of the commitment that our kids have to serving others. We preach that a lot in being great serving leaders, and that is our calling. They fall in suit and really buy into that."
XC: Lewis represents UTA and Sun Belt in Chicago
BSB: Petty Selected for NCAA Leadership Forum
Lady Mavs claim MAV Point Challenge
WBB: UTA helps out at Science of Basketball Day
UTA crowed Sun Belt Community Service Initiative champions
SAAC student-athletes volunteer in Uganda