The UMass men's basketball team chalked up another strong showing at the Big E on Saturday. A couple of basketball goals were set-up un front of the Massachusetts Building once again as fair-goers were invited to play basketball with the Minutemen. A few brave souls even went one-on-one with Raphiael Putney and Cady Lalanne at times.
The players signed autographs visited some vendors and sampled some of the numerous food options at the sixth-largest fair in the country. We followed some of the guys around and got their opinions on their favorite fair food, including Derrick Gordon who seemed quite fond of the fried Oreos.
We also had a visit from Elizabeth Roman (@Lizro27) of the Springfield Republican. Elizabeth is living in a trailer on the Eastern States Exposition grounds during the Big E and was kind enough to stop by and hang out with the team for a bit. Her story is below and you can read her daily updates as an embedded reporter here. Feel free to follow her on twitter via the link above.
WEST SPRINGFIELD -- University of Massachusetts Basketball players spent Saturday afternoon at the Big E in front of the Massachusetts House.
"This is a day for us to come out to the community and do an informal basketball clinic," said Derek Kellogg, head coach of the team.
"It gives kids the chance to meet some college athletes," he said.
Players interacted with kids, mostly boys under the age of 12, playing two-on-two games and teaching them a few tricks.
College senior Chaz Williams, a UMass point guard, said he enjoys participating every year.
"It's a great event, I always like giving back to the community. They come out to support us at games, and it's only right for us to support other community events," he said.
Senior Sampson Carter, the small forward, said he has done the clinic for three years.
"I try to have fun and interact with the kids, maybe they can learn something from us," he said.
The team's season kicks off in November. The Minutemen will play Boston College.