Minutewomen Support Local Community During Preseason
Sept. 28, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - Despite balancing a full schedule of classes with preseason training, the UMass women's basketball still focuses on helping support the Amherst-area community during the fall months. Recently the team took the opportunity to participate in The Walk To End Alzheimer's on Holyoke Community College's campus on Saturday, Sept. 22, while select members of the squad traveled to the Hatfield Public Library to assist with its afterschool program on Tuesday, Sept. 25.
"Community Service is a priority for our basketball family," UMass head coach Sharon Dawley said. "We have been blessed with this amazing opportunity to grow at UMass and it is our hope that we can share this with our neighbors."
Dawley has created an environment where service to the community and those that support the program is an essential part of the student-athlete experience, and The Walk To End Alzheimer's holds a special place among all of the service projects UMass participates in.
UMass women's basketball administrative assistant Katie Leonis' father, Wally, suffers from Alzheimer's and Leonis' family and friends march in the event as a team, "Wally's Warriors." Dawley saw the importance of the event to Leonis and asked the UMass women's basketball family to join in.
"We went out to the Walk To End Alzheimer's event to help out Ms. Katie [Lenois]," said senior guard Dee Montgomery. "She is near and dear to our hearts with this event."
Montgomery, teammate Ronni Grandison and Director of Basketball Operations May Kotsopoulos continued to reach out to the local community through the Hatfield Public Library on Tuesday afternoon. While in Hatfield, the trio participated in the after-school activity program held by the library, teaching the elementary school-age children present the importance of staying active with a number of basketball-related drills and games.
"It is always a good feeling to be able to give back, help the community and let everyone know that we are more just basketball players and students," Montgomery said. "We want to be involved in the community, show how much we care and get to know the people who support us."
The Minutewomen open the 2012-13 season at home against Kent State on Saturday, Nov. 10 with a 2 p.m. contest at the Mullins Center.