I knew a strong bond with my college basketball team at Gonzaga University would pay off down the road. But I just didn’t know to what extent. I have been in a position to work with many teams and athletes and the SCU Bronco Basketball team has just stayed a constant fixture in the BAWSI world.
Santa Clara women’s basketball has been fully committed with BAWSI by volunteering eight weeks in the Fall and eight weeks in the Spring every year. Besides realizing the power of consistency working in our BAWSI girls, it has also become clear over the past two sessions specifically with the Santa Clara Women’s basketball team at Scott Lane that investing in the team outside of BAWSI hours and working closely with this team has more than paid off.
I know that I can rely on these athletes weekly to bring energy, enthusiasm and a fresh perspective, just like my teammates and I used to rely on each other to support one another and dig deep for each other no matter what the situation. I think this new model of service that BAWSI is moving toward lends itself to broaden the idea of team, and I think the SCU Basketball team sees me as a part of theirs and they are definitely a part of mine, and because of this trust and relationship the service we provide together is real and powerful.
Together we work to help make each weekly session worthwhile and meaningful for the Scott Lane BAWSI participants. Watching the basketball athletes motivate and engage with the BAWSI girls inspires me to always bring my best to each session. And it’s easy to do when I know I can be dependent on the team from SCU to bring their spirit, energy and organization.
Being a part of BAWSI is just like an extension of being on any sports team. We all have to rely on each other to do our individual parts to make a great group outcome. I am so grateful to have the chance to work with Santa Clara women’s basketball athletes weekly. They come every week as committed as the last to make sure the BAWSI girls grow as individuals, have positive role models, learn a lot about themselves and most importantly have fun.
What I love most is seeing the joy and excitement on the faces of the BAWSI girls at Scott Lane each week when they see the basketball players arrive. They can’t wait to get started in the “Locker Room” and then get right into the week’s planned activities.
For the basketball players it’s a chance to step outside their jam-packed class and practice schedules and connect with groups of kids who are at a completely different, but equally critical stage, of their lives. They have the opportunity once a week to step outside their comfort zones of the court and the classroom and step onto a playground with elementary school kids and show them the love of sports, activity, and the power of female role models that lies within each of them potentially.
BAWSI is changing the lives of many young participants at all of its sites across the Bay Area. But it is also changing the lives of the college athletes. I see the change on the faces of the athletes each week as each session comes to a close and I see the change as they look forward to the next time they can get back out there and work with the BAWSI girls again. Finally, I see the change in me, a student-athlete a few years removed. It is uncertain where the ripple effect will end, but the ripples are going strong.