Men's Basketball Speaks To Yalesville Elementary Students

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WALLINGFORD, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team took some time away from their studies and traveled across town to Yalesville Elementary School in Wallingford, Conn. to take part in an afterschool program on Monday afternoon. Assistant Men's Basketball Coach Sean Doherty and members of the team spoke to the several students about the importance of balancing education and athletics in preparation for college.

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"We really enjoyed the opportunity to have our student-athletes work with the young people at Yalesville Elementary School," said Head Coach Tom Moore. "Our guys stressed the importance of academics and are great examples for the young people there trying to balance the demands of playing sports and doing well in the classroom."

Coach Doherty opened the program by speaking to the children about college and the significance of getting good grades in school. He then turned it over to the players, who were asked all sorts of questions pertaining to classes, basketball and the balance between the two. After that, everyone went outside to take part in a giant game of 'Capture the Flag' on the fields behind the school. Zaid Hearst (Bethesda, Md.), Justin Harris (Paterson, N.J.) and Evan Conti (Bayside, N.Y.) spearheaded one team, while Marquis Barnett (Bronx, N.Y.), T'Ziah Wood-Smith (Baldwin, N.Y.) and Nate Gause (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) guided the other team.

"Inviting the QU basketball team to our afterschool gym program was a win-win situation from both a physical sense and an academic sense," said Program Director Tracy Tyrrell. "The students here at Yalesville Elementary School frequently attend QU sporting events, and were in awe of having the chance to play a game of "Capture the Flag" with the basketball players from Quinnipiac. It was a team building game that involved strategy, skill, and teamwork. From an academic standpoint, we were thrilled to hear Coach Doherty and the players explain the amount of effort it takes to be able to balance playing basketball and keep up their grades.  The players also shared their majors and their favorite classes with our students, which helped the students see the positive correlation between doing well at school and playing sports. The QU Players made instant connections with the YES students. In fact, one of the children came running into school this morning stating that he wanted to be journalism major because one of the QU players mentioned that he was majoring in journalism so that he will be able to write about the topics he is most interested in."

The program consists of other various activities outside the realm of athletics. The program takes place daily throughout the academic school year.

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