In an attempt to establish a greater presence in the Mobile community, Spring Hill College men's basketball head coach Robert Thompson and assistant coach Reed Davis are instilling in their team a dedication to the community by engaging them in monthly service projects.
In October, the team paid a visit to several patients at Spring Hill Medical Center. Brightening spirits, the team brought laughter while signing basketballs and shirts to share with the patients and nurses.
Going room to room, the players met patients young and old. Despite the age differences, the feelings among the players and patients were mutual. "There was one elderly woman who was young at heart despite failing health and was just happy," said senior Stephen Burches of Hammond, La.
The youngest patient was a little girl named Zoë. "When we walked in she was pretty wide eyed, smiling from ear to ear. It definitely made her family happy," said Davis.
"We have been given a unique opportunity here," said senior Steve Edwards of Newton, Miss. "We are able to play college basketball and not everyone can do that. It makes you feel fortunate to meet these patients and realize that they look up to you. Experiences like these open your eyes and allow you to realize what you have to be thankful for."
By the end of their visit, the Spring Hill College Badger fan base had expanded its reach into the hearts of the patients. "In the midst of hugs and gratitude, we received promises that they would come to our games," said Burches, "but their expressions of emotion were more than we could have asked for or expected."