This story, from the Warsaw (IN) Times-Union, details some of the community service activities of the 16 teams currently on the Grace College campus for the NCCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. Grace’s women won their first round game against Emmanuel College of Georgia and will play again at 5:15 p.m. Thursday when they face Colorado Christian University in the semifinals.
WINONA LAKE- Hundreds of competitors in the National Christian College Athletic Association Division I basketball tournament at Grace College spent time off the court Tuesday giving back to the community.
The NCCAA tournament is today through Saturday at the Orthopaedic Capital Center on the Grace College campus. There are eight men’s and eight women’s teams.
Teams include California Baptist University, Cedarville University, Bluefield College, Emmanuel College, Grace College, Mt. Vernon Nazarene University, Roberts Wesleyan College, Colorado Christian College, Cedarville University, Dallas Baptist University, Trevecca Nazarene University, Southwestern Assemblies of God, The Master’s College, Emmanuel College, Hope International University, and Truett-McConnell College.
Service projects were completed at Heartline Pregnancy Center and Leesburg, Harrison, Madison, Jefferson, Washington, Lincoln, Milford, Claypool, Syracuse, and North Webster elementary schools. Other locations included Warsaw Christian School, Cardinal Services, Grace Village, and Miller’s Merry Manor.
Athletes from the women’s Cedarville University basketball team spent time with Grace Village residents in Winona Lake. The athletes painted residents’ nails, visited with residents, and helped serve coffee.
Sue Stump, Grace Village activities leader, said the residents enjoyed spending time with the basketball players.
Pauline Crick, 96, a Grace Village resident, said she played basketball in high school and enjoyed sharing basketball stories with the girls.
Keilah Ketron, a freshman basketball player from Cedarville, said she enjoyed the community service project.
“It’s exciting to partner with other Christian schools to reach out in the community and help others,” Ketron said.
Kirk Martin, Cedarville women’s basketball coach, said he was glad his team had an opportunity to serve.
“I think this is a wonderful opportunity for the athletes to use Christ as a platform to minister to the community,” Martin said.
Grace College women’s basketball players volunteered at Heartline Pregnancy Center Tuesday morning. They did arts and crafts with the children.
Angie Wood, Heartline Pregnancy Center executive director, said the students are not exposed to interacting with college students, and this was a great opportunity for that.
“The teachers loved having the extra help and having positive role models in their rooms,” Wood said.
Kiera Gray, a senior Grace College basketball player, said this was her fourth year participating in the service projects.
“It is great to be able to be active and serve the community and promote the town,” Gray said.
Scott Blum, Grace College women’s basketball coach, said the service projects offer a unique opportunity for athletes to serve.
“The teams are not only here to compete but to serve the community, and they may have thought they would be teaching others, but learned just as much themselves,” Blum said.
The Dallas Baptist University men’s basketball team spent Tuesday at Harrison Elementary School playing basketball with students, playing Bingo, and reading to the students.
Lee Snider, Harrison Elementary School principal, said the school was glad to have the athletes visit.
“We feel fortunate to have this opportunity to have the athletes at the school and interact with the students and talk about their lives,” Snider said.