Shepherd basketball players tutor Boys & Girls Club kids

September 13, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The Shepherd University men's basketball program has partnered with the Boys & Girls Club in Martinsburg to provide some one-on-one tutoring - off the court.

"This helps them mature," said interim head coach Justin Namolik as three of his players helped youngsters with their homework last Thursday.

"They have to be positive role models for the kids at the club."

Namolik has planned to have three players visit the club to provide tutoring to the children every Thursday - barring scheduling conflicts because of games - through the academic school year.

"It's building responsibility for our players, our student-athletes," Namolik said. "That's important to me."

The team also plans to help with the Boys & Girls Club's winter basketball league draft in late November and the University is hosting a Boys & Girls Club day on Dec. 20 so that Club members and their families can attend a game and participate in half time activities, according Martinsburg-Berkeley County unit director Stacie Rohn.


Plans are being developed for a fundraiser to be held in conjunction with the game in December, Rohn said.

"It's great for us because it's showing kids that if you want to be an athlete, you still have to study, you have to make the grades in the classroom," Rohn said of the team's partnership with the Club.

Rohn hopes to track the basketball players' statistics so the children have an opportunity to learn math in a fun way.

Freshman guard Tucker Lucas, 18, sat with Faythe Bailey, 6, as she read Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham," adding her own commentary in between.

"I'm just a kid myself," Lucas said smiling.

The Herndon (Va.,) High School graduate said helping the youngsters was fun and reiterated his coach's mantra that their time with the kids was helping make the community stronger.

The Boys & Girls Club off West John Street offers after-school programming for children from age 5 to 18, in addition to a summer program.

More information about the Boys & Girls Club in Martinsburg is available by calling 304-263-1832

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